An Attitude of Gratitude

There’s something about the holidays that makes us feel grateful. Maybe it’s the extra time away from work. Or the festive gatherings with family and friends. Perhaps it’s the lights on the trees, the wreaths on the doors or just the fun of spending money with reckless abandon. Whatever it is, people are just nicer this time of year.

Even shopping on Black Friday was pleasant. There were lines at the registers and traffic in the aisles, but people were kind and friendly to one another. Women shared coupons while waiting in lines. Traffic moved slowly as people paused to let each other in and out.

Now why aren’t people this kind the other eleven months of the year?

As a general rule, most of us don’t give much thought to how our actions affect others. We’re too wrapped up in our own agendas to take the time. We are quick to judge and slow to forgive. We don’t practice compassion. We don’t take the time to think about what’s going on in other people’s lives.

But what if we gave each other the benefit of the doubt?

That old lady holding up the line at the grocery store may be using 25 coupons because her retirement plan isn’t stretching as far as she hoped.

The guy who abruptly cuts you off in traffic may be rushing to the hospital to see a sick parent.

The client who was rude to you on the phone may have just learned he wouldn’t receive his much-needed bonus.

This time of year, we tend to slow down and look out for one another – not just ourselves. We donate to charities. We volunteer. We give gifts. And we feel good!

Why? Because God created us to love one another. It’s our natural state. It feels good when we do it. We’re happier during the holidays because we’re doing what we were built to do.

We’re being patient. We’re thinking of others. We’re giving each other the benefit of the doubt. That kind of behavior doesn’t have to end with the season. . .And that’s something to celebrate.