Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, at least for Americans, and this it the final post of this series. I’ve covered a few different topics gratitude, compassion, awe, but before you sit down tomorrow with significant (and insignificant) others, to eat yourself silly, I thought I’d tackle some seemingly “less adult” themes that might help to make your holiday weekend happier.
A fellow told me he was going to sky-diving school. He said, ‘I’ve been going for three months.’
I said, ‘How many successful jumps do you need to make before you graduate?’
He said, ‘All of them.’
How many times did you laugh in the last week? I hope a lot. You probably didn’t laugh 300 times a day (the normal rate for a child. Adults average around 17 times). So there’s room for improvement.
Laughter is great for the abs and it gets a lot of oxygen into the lungs, which makes you feel better. Scientific study is showing that laughter really fundamentally helps you to lead a happier life. So making it a point to try and see the funny side of things is going to be good for you, and everyone your with.
Humor can also stop a lot of arguments cold. At Thanksgiving especially, it pays to know some jokes or stories, even if they aren’t your own. Here’s true one that’s timely.
A Tennessee woman entered into a prolonged, fraught stand-off with a wild turkey that was blocking her car in her driveway.
She tried shouting at the turkey, charging it with her vehicle and also coaxing it out of her way by feeding it a raspberry, but ultimately conceded, “I’m not a wild turkey, so I really have no idea what a raspberry means to a turkey.”
In the end, she was able to scare the turkey away by hurling a frozen turkey at it.
Try to remember some embarrassing things that happened to you over the last year. They’re probably weren’t funny at the time. But now, in retrospect, they might be hilarious. And not just to yourself.
Research has show that telling embarrassing stories about ourselves actually makes people like and trust us more. So, get your family and friends around the table to tell their tale and have a good laugh. Rebuild some bridges — through humor.
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. — Will Rodgers
Another thing that really helps buoy the mood during group-oriented holidays is play. Play is not just a button on a device.
Play involves fun, others, and usually the joy that is “mistakes.” It’s something adults don’t do a lot of anymore. Adults tend to watch sports for example, but they don’t play them.
Getting outside, running around playing flag football, or raking and then leaping into leaf piles, or going apple picking, try some serious bird watching, or leaf peeping while showing off your ugly sweater…
gets the endorphins up and builds a group spirit.
If you’re stuck inside, light some candles, build a fire, make some hot cider, toast some pumpkin seeds for that long walk in the woods
and make some pine cone bird feeders to take with you and hang, or break out the traditional actual board, board games.
In short, have some fun. Actual physical fun. Don’t worry social media and virtual reality will still be there when you get back.
If you can’t get your teenagers away from their devices, send them to The Purpose Challenge. There they’ll find a Tool Kin with 4 days (perfect for Thanksgiving weekend) of short but interesting and thoughtful activities designed to help high school students figure out their purpose. (Other than just annoy you)
It helps get them pointed in the direction they may not know they want to go, and figure out what steps to take to be successful and happy their own way, in their own life. It will also give them something to talk about with you! It’s also worth $5,000 – $25000 in prize money for college if you’re a student graduating high school in 2018.