The end of the year is approaching and with it, a rush of holiday shopping0, food preparations, and visits with family. It can be overwhelming, to say the least. These are times that we are supposed to enjoy; but it is so easy to get lost in all the to-do’s, gifting, and family arguments and forget what these times are really about, thankfulness. This time of year is about reflecting on all the months before and spending quality time with our loved ones. So, before we all get too lost in the hectic shopping sprees of Black Friday and December, we here at Cardinal Rule Press want to encourage you to spend some time with us this Thanksgiving, expressing thankfulness and gratitude for the past year.
Expressing thankfulness and gratitude are practices that have been shown to increase the well-being of us and those we express it towards. Still, it can be hard, I think, to tell others how much we are thankful for them and their actions. It can feel vulnerable, especially in a world where asking for help isn’t always encouraged. And yet, pushing ourselves past any pride or nervousness and telling people just how much we appreciate them can be the best way to care for ourselves during the stress of the holiday season, and it’s a great way to start bringing the year to a close.
There are different ways to practice thankfulness, each one of them just as powerful. You could write someone a letter, telling them about all the ways you’re thankful for them. You could call someone on the phone and talk about a specific instance where you found yourself grateful for their assistance, presence, or advice. Or, you could meet up with them, over coffee, dinner, or casually at someone’s house and express your thankfulness in person. Mix and match. Maybe different people and different relationships call for different methods of expressing thankfulness. Is there a list of people you really want to talk to? Or maybe there’s that one person who means everything that you’ve never really taken the time to give your thanks to. There’s no better time than Thanksgiving to express gratitude.
I can start us off by expressing some of my gratitude towards my friends and family right here. To my friends, I want to say thank you for the best year of college I could’ve asked for. Thank you for giving me a safe space to be myself, for inviting me out and including me. Thank you for karaoke and movie nights, for Superbowl parties (and for comforting me when my team lost), and for letting me be my most vulnerable when life got scary. Because of you all, I found myself loving college.
To my family, I want to thank you for always being there and for being stable throughout all the change that has come for me these past four years. Thank you for supporting and encouraging me to follow what makes me happy, never questioning any interest of mine. Life is about to change again this spring, but I can never thank you enough for being the best home base I could ask for. No matter how far I go (which probably won’t be more than a few hours because I’ll miss you too much), thank you for making it clear I can always come home.
This Thanksgiving, besides eating lots of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, or whatever it is you chose to do this year, take some time to tell people you love them, just how much and why. They will most definitely thank you for it.
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Nia Saxon is an editorial intern at Cardinal Rule Press and a student at the University of Michigan studying English and Psychology. A lover of all things story related, she can be found reading, writing, or binge watching whatever show or movie she is obsessed with. She hopes eventually to become an editor in the publishing industry.