Today—where I live in the northern hemisphere—is the Winter Solstice: the day where night time/darkness reaches its maximum length. Sometimes this day is also referred to as the “shortest day of the year,” referring to the shortest amount of sunshine. Starting tomorrow, though, each day will begin to bring us ever-so-slightly more sunlight into our lives, and for that, we can be grateful!
Besides being grateful for the coming sunlight, here are some additional ways you can express your gratitude for your family, friends, neighbors and colleagues, even during a pandemic. Some of these expressions of gratitude only take a couple of minutes but they can actually have a life-long impact on the recipient.
~ write your loved-one a thank-you note, perhaps for something they did or for “simply” being themselves! Your gratitude can be written on a card, a postcard, a post-it note, or an index card, whatever you have! Drop your card/note in the mail, set it on their keyboard, in their lunchbag, inside the book they’re reading for school, etc.
~ don’t have time to write a card? Out of stamps? Send your loved one an unexpected text, an audio text, a voicemail message, a WhatsApp message, etc., expressing your gratitude, especially during this crazy year! (For example, every year I send out a “Happy Solstice” text to my friends and family
I call my friends/family members on their birthday and sing happy birthday to them. I’ve been told by numerous people over the years that they have kept my fun, silly messages for YEARS!)
~ Have extra cookies, snacks, sweets, meals during the holidays? Share them with your neighbors, your hairdresser/barber, your apartment manager, your nail tech, your “handy man,” your child’s tutor or coach–to any person who is a part of your “individual team” or your “family’s team.”
Don’t think that any gift you might share needs to be elaborate, well-wrapped, and involve a long visit while you wear a mask standing cold on your friend’s front porch. You can be short and spontaneous with your gifts. For example, I happen to be a picky banana eater, and so often my bananas turn too ripe for me to eat. However, I know that my neighbor actually enjoys them that way, so I drop them in her mailbox and send her a text that she has bananas waiting outside for her. It’s a “win-win,” in that I make her smile, and in return, I smile too! 😊
On this Winter Solstice, a time for reflection, consider “making” the time to thank someone you haven’t thanked in a while. It could easily turn into a gift for you as well.