One of my New Year's resoultions is to be more appreciative of things. You know, being more grateful for what I have. I thought of it on Thanksgiving--no suprise there--and thought "why should I wait until 2012? Why not start now?"
So I got a blank journal off the shelf and started writing five things I'm thankful for each day. I thought surely this would be easy, but it's turned out to be harder than I expected. Once you get past the big things like a job, family, friends, and health, it's difficult to say what you appreciate.
I've found myself thinking of all sorts of things: English murder mysteries, remote controls, Christmas lights and i-phones. When my computer got a virus I was thankful for Geek Squad for fixing it. I learned how much I appreciate technology when I didn't have it.
The good and bad of it is I look around at all I have and realize how truly blessed I am. Good because I've been more content with what I have. Bad because when people say "what do you want for Christmas" I have to answer "Nothing, really. I don't need anything." It makes it hard to shop because we have so much already it's hard to want to buy more stuff. As I buy presents I stop and consider "is this something they will want?" or am I buying it just because I think I have to get something for others?
If you think about it, putting Thanksgiving at the beginning of the holiday season is a good thing. It should put us in the right frame of mind for celebrating Christmas and it's true meaning.