There are lots of things that Americans have given us which, quite frankly, we would be better off without: twerking, peanut butter and jam sandwiches, Trump…but there is one really fabulous thing that the Americans do have that we really should think about adopting as our own: Thanksgiving.
Quite the best of all holidays, Thanksgiving has the festiveness of Christmas without the excessive gifting, extravagant decorations, tonnes of pressure to produce the most instagrammable holiday; and it doesn’t result in a week-long visit from stinky Auntie Marjorie.
The spirit of Thanksgiving is one of friends, family, love and inclusiveness. Being grateful for what, and who, you have in your life over the sharing of one delicious meal on one evening. It is the fun of Christmas, without all the stress.
Gratitude – why we should adopt it
Gratitude is good for your health. An increasingly large body of research indicates that practising gratitude can produce huge benefits in a myriad of ways: physical benefits, mental health benefits, social benefits – both big and small. It reinforces the idea that there is good in our world and in our lives; even if things aren’t perfect. Gratitude also requires us to see our interconnectedness with others, which helps us to regain perspective when things are tough. Furthermore, research has found that being grateful can improve decision-making, provoking more thoughtful responses instead of acting on knee-jerk reactions based on the desire for instant gratification.
Here at NHHQ, top of our list of “thankful for’’s is the dog. Whenever I remember to write in my gratitude journal, the first thing that pops into my head (err…after the kids, obviously) is the lovely hound. Thankful for his love. Thankful for his energy. Thankful for the joy he brings the family. Thankful for the daily walks I have to take with him, which make me feel happier and healthier and more connected to nature. Thankful for his early morning wake-up calls. Thankful for the laughter he provides whenever we cook a roast and he sings his appreciation from the sofa. Thankful for his gentle kindness and un-judgemental support. Thankful for the soft sound of the three sighs he exhales which means he is ready for sleep.
Our suggestion – have a mini UK Thanksgiving this year with your family. Cook up a nice meal and provide something super delicious for the dog, too, while you are at it. Why not try our Nature’s Harvest Turkey and Brown Rice for him to tuck into whilst you enjoy your own spread? Most importantly, invite a friend or a family member you know who needs a bit more love at the moment. Eat together and laugh together. Take it in turns around the table to say a few things you are grateful for, it’s always enlightening to see what comes up….and we bet someone mentions the dog.