The importance of Thanksgiving every day

Written by David Leonhardt

Continued from page 1

HEALTH: Just surviving past childhood used to be a major accomplishment. Now we expect to live into our 80s or 90s. And we expect no, we demand to have exceptional health care all alongrepparttar way (even those who are afraid to go torepparttar 132517 doctor!).

This list could keep growing, but these arerepparttar 132518 major benefits I am grateful for living in twenty-first century North America. What does that have to do with Thanksgiving Day and happiness?

Well, follow this train of thought. Whatever you have, you can either appreciate or not. If you appreciate it -- I mean really notice that you have it, that it is good, that you feel good about having it -- it will bring you happiness. However, if you get used to it, take it for granted, and focus on things you don't have, what you do have just won't bring you happiness.

Appreciation isrepparttar 132519 key to happiness. Whatever you truly and proactively appreciate, whether "stuff" or education or a vacation, will bring you happiness. But in this fast-paced, dog-eat-dog, over-stimulated society how can we appreciate anything?

Sadly, many of us who haverepparttar 132520 most to be grateful for express gratituderepparttar 132521 least and feelrepparttar 132522 least appreciation. It seemsrepparttar 132523 more we have,repparttar 132524 more we want. The more we want,repparttar 132525 less we appreciate what we have. The less we appreciate,repparttar 132526 less value there is to having anything, which may explain why we keep wanting more.

We who are drowning in luxuries and holdrepparttar 132527 world in our hands can't seem to findrepparttar 132528 time to appreciate what we have ... but we still make time to whine and complain. We still find things, however petty, to feed our negative thinking. How can we learn to appreciate our abundance and live a happy life?

The secret to feeling that appreciation we often overlook is in expressing our gratitude vocally or in writing. How can we possibly fail to appreciate something when we say "Thank you" for it and focus our attention onrepparttar 132529 appreciation?

I offer several ideas on how to express gratitude inrepparttar 132530 "Get Happy Workbook" and my book "Climb your Stairway to Heaven:repparttar 132531 9 habits of maximum happiness", including keeping a gratitude journal, saying grace, practicing "bolsterism", or just sending flowers, cards, or an appreciative e-mail message to name just a few ideas. Perhapsrepparttar 132532 most useful of all ideas is to make Thanksgiving Day every day.

Christmas is important. Easter is important. Halloween is important forrepparttar 132533 kids. But for our own personal happiness, there is nothing like a truly heartfelt Thanksgiving.

David Leonhardt is The Happy Guy at , and publisher of A Daily Dose of Happiness at . This article can also be viewed at

Ten Alternatives to Cutting Down a Tree for Christmas

Written by Andrea Lee

Continued from page 1

So when we recommend an artificial tree in this list, it's only carefully. And here's an example of a fake tree that passes muster, and is really rather elegant too. Reusable forever, this is a fabulous tree to pass down from generation to generation as you solidify yourself as a 'No Cut Tree' family. Setrepparttar lights on a timer and way you go. This is also a sharp tree for business offices that often gorepparttar 132515 PVC tree route. All you office managers, stop! Before you commit to one ofrepparttar 132516 plastic trees, see if you can do better forrepparttar 132517 air quality ofrepparttar 132518 office. Your staff will thank you...

Available in specialty Christmas stores, and at this link:

7. Instead of a cut Christmas tree, try a bonsai or miniature evergreen tree.

Especially if your space is limited, or you just adore small, miniature evergreen trees are a readily available alternative to cut Christmas trees. They last a long time, and again, because they are living trees, using them or Christmas will helprepparttar 132519 planet immensely. Remember, a cut tree is a dead tree!

Visit online retailer Red Envelope for more information aboutrepparttar 132520 Mini Cypress Tree or Rosemary Tree

8. Instead of a cut Christmas tree, sponsorrepparttar 132521 planting of 15 or more live trees in a damaged ecosystem.

Those of you who readrepparttar 132522 regular issue of Joy torepparttar 132523 Planet (88 ways to enjoy life AND helprepparttar 132524 planet) know I am a big fan of planting trees. And doing so for Christmas is a truly perfect choice. Inrepparttar 132525 face ofrepparttar 132526 millions of trees that are cut down for Christmas, PLANTING 15 or more, for US$15, is a bold and brilliant statement worthy of celebrating.

The non-profit organization American Forests makes it simple and easy to do. Just clickrepparttar 132527 link and consider hanging a Christmas wreath besiderepparttar 132528 certificate they send you as thanks.

9. Instead of a cut Christmas tree, decorate a completely different kind of household tree or plant.

In Hawaii,repparttar 132529 Christmas tree of choice is actuallyrepparttar 132530 Palm tree, andrepparttar 132531 family at this link chose to honor their banana tree with ornaments this year. (Thanks go to Tom Elliot's Alternative Energy Information Centre forrepparttar 132532 photo and inspiration.) What living room plant or tree can you dress up? 10. Instead of a cut Christmas tree in your house, stop and make a point of enjoying allrepparttar 132533 Christmas trees that are already out there.

Have you ever stopped and noticed how many Christmas trees - artificial, cut, potted, inflatable, outdoor, what have you - you walk by every December? Last time I was out, I counted more than thirty!

So this year, instead of cutting down a Christmas tree for your own private viewing, why not take a moment and enjoyrepparttar 132534 many trees that have been decorated with care out there? Whether it be atrepparttar 132535 mall, onrepparttar 132536 Christmas television special, in magazines,repparttar 132537 Internet, orrepparttar 132538 one in your friend's living room (until next year, when you convince her not to get one!). There's plenty of tree to enjoy for all of us.

Merry tree-free Christmas!

Best regards,


Andrea Lee To sign up for Joy torepparttar 132539 Planet,repparttar 132540 ezine that shows you how to enjoy life AND helprepparttar 132541 planet, just visit for more information. It's fun, and free! Note: Although we have carefully researchedrepparttar 132542 various links above, we cannot guaranteerepparttar 132543 quality or availability of products purchased from other companies. Please inquire directly withrepparttar 132544 respective online companies for pricing, warranty, and other detail. Thank you! 2003 Andrea Lee. All rights reserved. Questions? Write to

Andrea Lee is former General Manager of, Small Business Coach and multiple online business owner. To reach her, visit or email

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