Giving Is Gratitude

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2 Minutes
Last updated
March 27, 2024
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The day after Christmas Day—Boxing Day—began as a day of giving.

Tradesmen received Christmas boxes in the 17th century as thanks for their services throughout the year.

The tradition changed, as this Wikipedia entry explains:

In Britain, it was a custom for tradesmen to collect "Christmas boxes" of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year.[11]  This is mentioned in Samuel Pepys ' diary entry for 19 December 1663.[12]  This custom is linked to an older British tradition where the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families since they would have had to serve their masters on Christmas Day. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts, bonuses, and sometimes leftover food.

So, although it originated as the second day of Christmas, and as a holiday to give gifts to the poor, now it is a shopping day.

The only gratitude on display now seems to be self-serving.

The point here isn’t to criticise some self-indulgence, but to remind ourselves of the good that comes from showing gratitude.

Just the act of taking time to note what you are grateful for can do wonders.

Research has shown that people who regularly practice gratitude are happier, kinder, and more likely to have better relationships. Positive emotion can have many benefits for our mental and physical health. When it comes to making decisions, gratitude can help us approach situations with a more positive and optimistic mindset, which can lead to better decision-making.

So, today (as it’s Boxing Day), take some time to reflect and express some gratitude. Why not start a gratitude journal? Every day, ask yourself one question:  What's 1 thing I'm grateful for? It is the first question Dickie Bush journals every day. This great question pushes us to look for the good in others—and ourselves.

Remember, when we are feeling grateful, we are more likely to see the good in others and in ourselves, and this can help us make decisions that are kind, compassionate, and fair.

So, on this day of giving, give yourself the opportunity to feel better about yourself.

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