December 2, 2019
“And although it be not always so plentiful,” wrote Edward Winslow in 1621, “it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God.”
For the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony, it was a hard-won harvest. They had endured disease, starvation and every kind of privation. Of 102 original settlers, only 53 survived to celebrate the First Thanksgiving. Nevertheless, they were grateful: for the aid of the Wampanoag tribe, for the promise of food to see them through winter and for the home they built in a new world.
Four hundred years later, we’ve added new trappings to the holiday – football, parades, family visits and Black Friday – but we still pause around the table to say we’re thankful.
It’s not just a beautiful tradition. According to Harvard Health, counting your blessings can give you a more optimistic mindset. When you express gratitude for the things that bring you joy, or when you tell the people in your life you care about them, you become more contented, empathetic and emotionally resilient.
Saying “thanks” is a win-win – so why save it for Thanksgiving? Here are three easy ways to give thanks at any time of year.
- Send thank-you notes. Thank-you notes aren’t just for special occasions! A quick handwritten note can brighten the day of both the sender and the recipient. One study found that people who wrote thank-you notes got a big boost in happiness – and the feeling lasted an entire month.
- Pay it forward. Not sure how to say thank you for your blessings? Try sharing them. Altruistic acts like paying for a stranger’s meal, helping out a neighbor or sending an unexpected gift are a great way to brighten someone’s day – and research shows they can brighten yours, too.
- Tell people you care. As the saying goes, “Gratitude unexpressed is ingratitude.” Often, we don’t take time tell the people we love how we feel. That’s a missed opportunity! Make it a goal to say “thank you” or “I love you” to someone in your life every day.
Given our namesake, Thanksgiving is particularly special at The Mayflower – and we’re grateful for a community full of caring, gracious and friendly people. Schedule a tour here or give us a call at 407-672-1620.