Thanksgiving is quickly approaching along with the biggest retail day in the year, Black Friday. Which one do you choose: being in an over crowded mall and stuck in a traffic jam to buy the latest gadget or spending a relaxing fun day with family and loved ones? As Thanksgiving approaches many people are contemplating what to do with the time, why not take advantage of the long weekend and spend time with the people that mean the most to you? If you and your family are on vacation, hopefully somewhere warm like Costa Rica, or even at home this Thanksgiving how about rounding up the troops and having everyone write down five things they are thankful for and why. This exercise is something you can easily do at the table whether it is your own or at a resort.
Costa Rica is not a stranger to Thanksgiving due to the large number of expats living here. One of the best things about the Osa Peninsula is that its remoteness has protected the area from becoming overbuilt and commercialized. You can truly get away and spend time relaxing and doing the things that really matter. As lives become more stressful and demanding, being able to truly spend some time rejuvenating is key to happiness and well-being. While financial stability is important to achieve security, less stress and to a certain degree ‘happiness,’ obsessing about material things allowing your consumer identity to define your self-worth is not. Thanksgiving is a time when we give thanks for the things in the lives that have brought us joy and happiness. It is a day of gratitude. People examine what matters to them and celebrate the abundance in their lives.
A real gift to give your loved ones for Thanksgiving is the time to spend some real quality time. Time is the most precious resource we have in our lives and often spending that extra hour talking with your spouse, your partner or one of your children in the end is going to be remembered and cherished more than what you give them for Christmas that year. Perhaps that means booking a trip to a family friendly resort or maybe that means just taking some extra time around the dinner table. And instead of going shopping on Black Friday, making it a day to organize a special activity that everyone can enjoy. If you are in Costa Rica eco-tours, zip-lines and even fishing are all great family activities, and maybe you want to consider volunteering some time with a group like Osa Conservation helping with the Sea Turtles and make that Friday about giving something instead of getting something. Crocodile Bay can organize just about any activity on your behalf. If you are at home check out what is happening in your local town from plays to museums to volunteering at a local charity. You can enjoy an outing and keep the focus on your loved ones and giving thanks. The more we focus on what we can give instead of what we can get the happier we are in our lives.
It is said that people who spend every day in gratitude live longer and are happier because they focus on positive things in their lives and what they have instead of what they don’t have. A way to take Thanksgiving with you everyday is to write down five thinks you are grateful for every morning in a gratitude journal or you can even start a gratitude e-mail list that you share with close friends and family. It starts your day in a positive way focused on abundance instead of lack. And as the holidays approach, there will be plenty of time to buy gifts. Perhaps the day after Thanksgiving, the best way to spend it is to give your with your time and love and not your wallet. Just a thought… Happy Holiday!