I have a confession to make. I do realize how blessed I am to have family, friends, a wonderful husband, relative health and wealth, and more or less everything I could ever need plus many if not most of the things I want. I should be grateful beyond measure. But the truth is, I more often find things to bemoan or gripe about than I do to be grateful for.

BBInn - PC Tree 2010

How dare I complain about anything, or wish things were better, or spend even one moment dreaming or plotting to improve one or another area of my life when I already have so much to be thankful for? I know things could be much worse – I’m reminded of the odds that they may soon be every time I see a headline or read the prayer list at church.

Cal - Rachel SS

Part of it is being a perfectionist. I have very high expectations. If they’re not met, I feel sadness and disappointment. If anyone has a cure for this unproductive malady, let me know. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with aspiring to be the best you can be, anything – anything – served up in too big a batch, has a way of metamorphosing into something sour.

Scotland - doors big

Power corrupts, and gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins. We take our rights, and use them to destroy instead of building up. Too much of any good thing can so easily go bad.

Food - turkey

Thanksgiving should be about being grateful. Christmas should be about love coming down to save us. Instead, it seems that both holidays have become about excess and greed – shopping frantically for things we don’t need instead of being grateful for what we already have.

Food - Pie, baked

So your turkey is dry instead of moist, or the crust on the pumpkin pie is burned, or it’s cold and snowy and the roads are slippery on Thanksgiving Day. So there’s friction from the family around the table or you feel the sniffles coming on or someone is late. So your date cancelled at the last minute or your favorite restaurant is closed or you put on your favorite dress and find a grease spot center front. So that beautifully wrapped box under the tree turns out to be something you never would have bought and don’t even want – please don’t let unrealistic expectations rob you of your contentment and satisfaction and the things that are really important in life.

This year, as you gather together with your family or friends, as you look around at the beauty that surrounds you, give thanks with a grateful heart.

Christmas - H to B close

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