Christmas time is so busy and there is so much abundance of food and parties and gifts it can be easy to forget to show gratitude.
Many years ago, my mother worked as a playground assistant in a local school. One of her colleagues, Jenny, was a single mother. Her husband had died young and she was bringing up her son with limited finances. At the time of this event her son was 10 years old and had just started a paper round to earn some pocket money. Christmas was approaching and he told his mum that he would really like a bike so that he could do his paper round quicker but he understood that she did not have much money.
Jenny was so excited when she told the playground assistants that she had scraped together enough money to buy her son a second hand bike. To make the present more fun she was going to take off all of the bike accessories, the bell, the pump, the lights, and wrap them up separately. She was going to give those to her son on Christmas morning before she revealed the bike.
Christmas morning came and Jenny gave her son all the bike accessories beautifully wrapped up. She was bubbling with excitement inside but she could sense his disappointment which he was masking well for a 10 year old. Finally he said’ ‘Mum, thank you for all these things for my bike. I know you can’t afford to buy me the bike at the moment but when you can I will have everything I need ready for it’.
Needless to say, and much to the bewilderment of her son, Jenny burst into tears. She rushed outside and wheeled in the bike. She and her son collapsed into each other’s arms crying, happy crying filled with love and gratitude.
That is a true story and it happened over 40 years ago. Just like I have always remembered it, I guess they still talk about it too.
Gratitude is good for your physical as well as your emotional wellbeing. As well as making exercise more likely, some research shows that gratitude gives us better immune systems and even lower blood pressure.
So for your own sake, and the sake of those around you, spend a few minutes every day over the holidays to remember everything that you are grateful for.
If you need help with your emotional health contact Pat to find out how she could help you.