A Simple Path – To Giving Thanks | The BridgeMaker

A Simple Path – To Giving Thanks

By on Nov 23, 2014

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice. – Meister Eckhart

The holiday season is here. Between planning a trip to Virginia for Thanksgiving and getting a head start on our Christmas shopping, Mary Beth and I were in the thick of it on Saturday. With crowded parking lots, busy stores and a big to-do list looming, we held our breaths and jumped in.

Jumping together makes it worth doing because my wife and I are grateful we have one more holiday season to share together – no matter how busy it gets.

Silencing the Hype

This holiday season is all about being thankful for what we have. Unfortunately, we tend to get caught up in the hype and become stressed about providing the perfect holiday that we forget about the best things we already have.

It’s easy to name all the things you wish you had; or wish you could do, and forget about all that you do have. This holiday season take some time to be thankful for the people and things you do have in life.

Here are 10 ways you can give thanks today – and every day.

  1. Take the time to make a phone call to a distant relative. Emails and text messages are impersonal. Make an effort to call the person and talk with them. Appreciate them while they are here.
  2. Volunteer your time at a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen this Thanksgiving. If you know of someone in need, make them a meal and deliver it to them.
  3. At your own Thanksgiving meal, spend a few minutes before the meal reminiscing. Talk about loved ones who have gone and revisit some of the happiest memories you have shared with your family and friends. Be thankful for the time you have with your loved ones.
  4. Get crafty and set a festive, thankful atmosphere in your home. Check out Pinterest for some great ideas you can do. Spending time making special crafts for your guests is one way to show your thanks to them for coming to your home.
  5. Send cards to friends and family you cannot see this holiday. Your loved ones will appreciate holding something in their hands written in your own hand. In this too-techy world, we have disconnected. Reconnect with a handwritten note in a beautiful card.
  6. Send care packages to military personnel who are overseas. Include a note of thanks thanking them for their service.
  7. Visit an animal shelter and volunteer to spend time petting the cats or walking dogs. All God’s creatures deserve love and affection.
  8. Invite a co-worker or friend who doesn’t have any place to go this Thanksgiving to your home. Make them feel welcome and give them a reason to give thanks.
  9. Deliver flowers to your neighbors especially those who may be alone this season. Offer a smile and a kind word and thank them for being a good neighbor.
  10. De-clutter! As you are cleaning the house for the influx of guests this season, consider getting rid of some of your excess and donating it to charity.

Sometimes the simple path to giving thanks begins with doing the simple things, which are often the best signs of love.

Mary Beth and I made it back to the house Saturday afternoon feeling good about what we had accomplished. With a month to go before Christmas arrives, we’ll continue to divide and conquer the to-do list until it’s whittled down to why it was created in the first place.

To be honest, it will be my wife who will do most of the shopping, decorating and cooking as I manage the family budget to pay for it all, but both of us will do it with a thankful heart.

And in our gratitude lives the reason why we hold our breaths and jump in: Giving thanks, and sharing love, for exactly what we have.

simple path to giving thanks

What is A Simple Path?

This post is in A Simple Path, a series of short pieces inspired by my own life experiences. Each post is a simple path to experiencing something wonderful: maybe seeing life from a different perspective, or celebrating its beauty. Please be sure to check out my book on Amazon: 20 Simple Paths to an Amazing Life.

The BridgeMaker Founder Alex Blackwell is the author of Letting Go: 25 True Stories of Peace, Hope and Surrender. Join the community to connect, share and inspire: Twitter | Facebook | More Posts

  • Thanks for the reminder. It is so sad we get caught up in Thanksgiving but not in Thanks giving but all the fan fare that goes on.
    This should be a time taken to reflect on the things that truly matters family, friends, health, life and being grateful for all we have and for all the struggles that have brought us to this place of peace.

    • Amen Rose, Amen! I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving.

  • We get so wrapped up in consumerism during the holidays that it’s easy to forget what the season is really for. Thanks for the reminder.

    • We so do Lovelyn, that’s the biggest reason I wrote this!

      Take good care,


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