Be thankful for the food you are eating. Someone put a lot of time, money, and effort into your holiday feast. Be thankful for the nourishment and hard work.
Appreciate the company. You may be spending the holiday with those you love or care for. They help to make the holiday warm and comforting and help you maintain a sense of connection or belonging. While families have their ups and downs, they often provide you with a place in the world. Give thanks to family and friends and demonstrate to them your love and appreciation.
Reflection. Think about the experiences (positive and negative) and accomplishments you have encountered this year. Think about how you have grown, and triumphed. Such self-reflections should help you discover events and/or experiences for which you are grateful. Give thanks to you and to the experiences that make you who you are.
Give thanks for the health of yourself and your family/friends. Your health and the health of those you love and care for is of utmost importance. For all the ups and downs a year may bring along the lines of health, if you are still breathing, you should be thankful. Think about all of the people who are suffering and about those who did not make it through the year because of health problems. Think about the people you might have lost in the past year. The holidays are a time to reflect on what has been given to you over the past year as much as it is a time to appreciate what has not been taken away.
Think about the less fortunate. In the true spirit of the holidays, consider the poor, the needy, or those who have struggled financially in these difficult times. Think of all that you still have and all that you can still give to others. Give thanks for your life, your health, your loved ones, and your luxuries.
Resource: Provost, T. (2009). How to Give Thanks at Thanksgiving. Retrieved 10/13/09 from: http://Howtodothings.com
Source: Amy F. Hosier, Extension Specialist for Family Life, University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture