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As a woman who has lived through many passages and learned through my larger than life experiences (positive and negative), I’ve discovered how to take a big empowering bite out of life.

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Holiday Gratitude: The Best Lessons

I love the holiday season! I feel an awakening with its wonderment. The spirit of giving and family togetherness makes my heart sing. The enjoyment of gift giving fits the times. Looking for the perfect present for those we love and feeling the excitement when we finally find it! Then, tucking it away until the moment we can finally present it to those we care for and feeling joy and warmth within ourselves. There are so many lessons of the holidays. My favorite? Gratitude!

honey good holiday gratitude in front of menorah

I love the feelings of generosity and gratitude so prevalent this time of year.

Gratitude: The Best Holiday Lesson

The magic of the holidays is there because of gratitude! You see, gratitude isn’t just about saying “thank you.” It’s a way of looking at the world that changes not just how we feel, but how we interact with others. A grateful heart notices the beauty in small moments – like laughter at a family dinner, the sparkle in our grandchild’s eyes as they open a gift, the warm hug from an old friend. A light and grateful heart dissolves the stress that sometimes shadows our holiday cheer.

Studies have shown that gratitude can actually lead to better relationships. Like a cozy fire on a winter’s night, gratitude brings comfort and closeness. Did you know that grateful people have 13 percent fewer arguments? Imagine that! We could all use less squabbles over the holidays and more room for understanding and joy.

How to Cultivate Holiday Gratitude This Season

  1. Start and End Your Day with Gratitude: Do you journal? If not, this is a great reason to start. Begin every day by jotting down thoughts of what you are grateful for. At bedtime, guide your mind to reflect on positive happenings from the day as you doze off. This helps to prime your mind for holiday positivity.
  2. Pause for a Heartfelt Thank You: Make it a habit to pause and sincerely thank someone while looking them in the eye. While you’re at it, make sure you share a “thank-you” with yourself!
  3. Savor the Moment: Whether it’s a meal, a view, or a conversation, savor your experiences during the day and acknowledge the people who made each moment possible, whether its family or strangers.
  4. Write Thank-You Notes: When I was young, my mother taught me the importance of writing thank you notes, and it’s something I still do. Thank you notes make recipients feel appreciated and boosts your sense of connection.
  5. Create a Gratitude Jar: Keep a jar where you and your visiting friends and family can drop notes of gratitude. This visual expression of thankfulness will become a cherished holiday tradition.
  6. Acknowledge Gratitude from Others: When grandchildren, girlfriends, strangers, or other family members express gratitude, always acknowledge it. This reinforces the importance of thankfulness and keeps the cycle of gratitude going​.
honey good holiday gratitude gifts

Gratitude is the best gift this holiday. Will you share it?

Lessons of the Holidays

This is a time to teach our children and grandchildren that giving a gift is more important than getting a gift. It is called generosity of spirit! We can help our posterity learn gratitude this holiday and every day.

I live in downtown Chicago and am surrounded by the beauty of tree-lined streets lit with white lights, all aglow and sparkling like twinkling stars. People young and old walk arm-in-arm with friends and family, rushing down the street, laughing with brightly colored packages filled with loving gifts. The ringing bells of the Salvation Army folks, the Santas and the apartment building’s decorated lobbies add to my wonderment. I am a package of happiness during the holiday season.

I love the religious part of the holidays, too. Christmas and Hanukkah, the beautiful wreaths on the front doors, church bells ringing, Christmas trees and Menorahs lit in homes across the world, decorated by family members sharing traditions of their faith with their families. By now you can sense that the holidays are my happiest time of the year! So happy, in fact, that I chose to be married on December 22! I love the holiday season and the feelings of generosity and gratitude that comes with it.

Gratitude, Pass it On

This season, I encourage you to cultivate holiday gratitude. Are you noticing the small joys? Do you feel wonder? I hope so. But don’t stop there – Darling, share this gift of gratitude with others. Show your appreciation for those around you, model the beauty of saying “thank you”, and let your heartfelt gratitude light up your life, and also the lives of those you touch.

In doing so, you’ll find that the true magic of the holidays lies not just in the twinkling lights and festive gatherings, but in loving, thankful connections.

holiday gratitude lighting holiday candles

Notice the little things this holiday season and you’ll feel gratitude.

I am Grateful for YOU

And so at this time, I want to wish the Honey Good community of women and their families a very happy holiday season! I appreciate each and every one of you! And, I want to end this story with my holiday wish for you: may your days over this holiday be merry and bright!

Did your mother teach you to send thank-you cards? Do you still send them?

Lets discuss in the comments!

If you appreciated this story, I’d be grateful if you would subscribe to my newsletter!


December 13, 2023

Passages After 50, Relationships

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  1. Joyce Penny says:

    My father was a violent drunk who seemed to save his worst behaviour for Christmas, so for years I dreaded Christmas from the first decorations which appeared earlier every year. Even though I went through the motions of a tree, gifts and decorations for my own children, my heart was never in it 100%. Now in my 70’s I am teaching myself to be grateful that I am free to choose my own emotions and acknowledge my many blessings. God bless you and all your readers at this time of year and all through the next.

  2. emily markiewicz says:

    Package of happiness, Susan, Great line and sentiment. Love, Emily

  3. emily markiewicz says:

    Package of happiness. Great sentiment.

  4. patricia nisenholz says:

    ALWAYS send a handwritten TY note. It’s a feel good on either end. The sender and the receiver. May your days continue to be merry and bright & HaPpY Anniversary.

    • Susan Good says:

      You are 100% correct- the sender and receiver are happy. My days are not merry and bright because my ultimate concierge is struggling. I am over the top sad and worried but I do have hope. Thank you for remembering my anniversary. We will be celebrating at Shirley Ryan. Warmly, Honey

  5. Bonnie says:

    Yes, my mother did teach me the importance of sending a thank you card. I still do, and I’ve taught my daughters to do the same. My youngest adult daughter has sons and also taught them the importance of that gesture.
    Thank you for this post as a reminder to all of us.
    Mele Kalikimaka,

  6. Sharon ZInn says:

    At 76, yes, I do thank you notes, appreciation, etc, love writing and receiving notes. My grans did but it seems as most teenagers it’s a clipped text message, so sad. Many of my adult friends also use text, I find it impersonal. Look forward to ur emails and hope #1 Conceigere improving.
    Sharon ZInn

    • Susan Good says:

      Thank you for your good wishes. Oh how I wish for the old days of normalcy. Living in today’s world is almost unbearable for me. I am disgusted with the whole scene. And, this has nothing to do with my age. I am praying for change. Our young people are being so misguided and they will be the ones entering the work place. I love writing personal thank you notes. My ultimate concierge is struggling and so am I with worry and sadness but I have hope. Thank you for caring. Warmly,Honey

  7. Minda says:

    I love the way you wrote this newsletter regarding GRATITUDE. Gratitude is magic ! It lightens the heart of everyone around us and most especially ourselves. Everyday that we live is gratitude and a miraclle!!

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