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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

With all of the gifts to buy, parties to attend and goodies to bake this time of year, it’s easy to forget to be thankful for the many blessings we each should be counting every single day—too easy!


Though I never fail to start the holiday season intending to always be aware of the blessings in my life, all of the stress and hustle and bustle of this time of year usually throws me off track. While I do tend to get back on track closer to the end of the season, I’m always a little annoyed with myself for not counting the little blessings I’m thankful for each and every day. My mantra throughout the year is to “remember that there is always someone less fortunate”, my family doesn’t have much, but we always try to give in whatever ways we can throughout the year and especially throughout the holiday season. Though I always try to stay focused on what’s important to me (family, friends, food to eat and a warm bed to sleep in) it can be very easy to forget those things we all take for granted daily, which really are blessings, in order to help me stay focused on what’s important this time of year (and always really) I keep this list of ways that both myself and my family can remember to always count our blessings.

* Participate in a toy drive as a family. I’m lucky in that all of my children seem to understand the importance of giving to others, but sometimes, especially around the holidays there giving spirit (and mine too) can sometimes turn into one of selfishness. Participating in a toy drive as a family can be a great way to spend time together doing something amazing for someone else and I’m always surprised by how giving my children can be and how much they genuinely love doing something nice for other kids.

* Volunteer at a soup kitchen or food pantry. Growing up my family didn’t have much money and I know that there were times when my mom, who was a single mother until I was 10, needed help to feel my sister and I and one of the ways that was possible was thanks to those who donated to our community food pantry. Even though I sometimes find myself struggling to figure out how I’m going to feed our large family, I always make sure to donate to the food pantry as it was instrumental in helping my mom when I was younger. Volunteering as a family can really help your children understand that there truly are people far less fortunate than they are right in their own town and there’s no better time for them to see all of the blessings they take for granted in their own life.

* Adopt a Christmas Angel. Most retailers have lists (our local store has a tree at the entrance filled with children who are in need during the holiday season) of families in need, if your family can afford to adopt a child or family for the holidays that’s such an excellent way to give back while also being reminded to count your blessings.

This year Mercy is helping to take some of the stress out of the holiday season simply by asking people to count their blessings! Mercy believes that, “Our greatest blessing is to see others blessed” and I can’t think of a more fitting and powerful mantra for this time of year. It’s simple to count your blessings and Mercy hopes that in doing so you’ll be a little less stressed and able to better focus on what matters most, the little blessings in each of our lives. Counting your blessings is so simple to do, you simply go to http://ourblessingscount.com and enter a blessing (or many blessings) you can also click on the falling snowflakes and read and share other people’s blessings—it is a great way to not only share your blessings, but also to be touched by the blessings of others! Maybe you’ve already shared your blessings at ourblessingscount.com, if so what blessings did you share? I shared that I am blessed to have 4 happy, healthy, amazing children, it was so easy and it made me feel good…you should definitely join the movement and count your blessings today!

I might not always remember to count and be thankful for the blessings (both big and small) in my life, but when I do there’s some level of satisfaction in knowing that not only am I blessed, but that I can share those blessings with others…to me that’s the most important part of the holiday season!

Mercy recognizes the stress we put on ourselves and our families over the holidays. They want to remind us that ‘Our greatest blessing is to see others blessed.’ One way we can do this is to pause, list our blessings, and share them with others. Let’s count our blessings together at www.ourblessingscount.com.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Mercy. The opinions and text are all mine.