This year, just like last year, another one of our family friends lost a child to suicide. It’s a deep devastation that is hard to console. The parent(s) keep asking themselves what they did wrong and how they could have been better.

More and more often, I find myself thinking that suicide, finally a widely spoken about topic depending on where you come from in society/community, is one of the most selfish things that anyone could do to their families.

In 1946, a time when one would think that suicide would have been a taboo topic, Frank Capra produced and directed one of the best Christmas films of all time (in my and many other people’s books), called It’s a Wonderful Life! It tells the tale of a businessman, George Bailey, who delves deep into despair and frustration after a series of terrible events and decides that he wants to kill himself. Before that happens, an angel shows him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

The black and white drama is based on the short story called the “The Greatest Gift” which was written by Philip Van Doren Stern in 1939, and later published privately in 1945. The motion picture was nominated for 5 Oscars and was an easy find for me about two years ago, when I was searching through a list of “The Best Christmas Movies” on YouTube.

In the mean time, before you go out and find that movie, why don’t you start planning ways that you can appreciate your life more? Assess yourself, and decide whether this year was generally a year of thankfulness, or whether you displayed a lack of gratitude for everything you had, in general.

Here are 5 Things That You Can Do This Christmas To Appreciate Your Life A Little More:

(Adapted from the Article 11 Ways To Appreciate Your Life A Little More by Fauzia Burke –

  1. Starting This Christmas, Keep A Gratitude Journal

Take five minutes to list everything that you’re grateful for. The more you fill your gratitude tank, the more you’ll be content – the best gifts are free!

  1. Starting This Christmas, Create Gratitude Folders

Normally, you would start at the beginning of the year, and create a bulletin board where you have small reminders that make you feel grateful. For example, a letter from a friend, thank you note from a client and so on. At the end of the year, you can put all of those into a folder so that you can review it all and see how blessed you are.

  1. Starting This Christmas, Practice Gratitude With Your Family

Try practicing gratitude during mealtimes with the family where you can go around the table and talk about the best part of the day, what you may feel most grateful for, or, even personal “wins.” My parent’s started this in my family, and we’ve been doing this for years now.

  1. Starting This Christmas, Try & Send Out One Email Daily

Try to send out a thank-you email to someone everyday. It can be very short. This small act alone can change your life as well as your relationships. I started doing this by SMSing about 5 people every two weeks. It’s even better to start early when it comes to Christmas and New Years.

  1. Starting This Christmas, Be Present

Once you choose to consciously be present and live in the moment, you will automatically start living with gratitude because gratitude requires awareness – in other words it’s about noticing everything.

I love this Psalm written by King David! He obviously knew the importance of writing down (with great detail) the things that he was most thankful for in life, or the things that made his life wonderful, because of the fact that trials, hardships and depression were such a REAL THING for him!

“I waited a long time for the Eternal; He finally knelt down to hear me. He listened to my weak and whispered cry. He reached down and drew me from the deep, dark hole where I was stranded, mired in the muck and clay. With a gentle hand, He pulled me out to set me down safely on a warm rock; He held me until I was steady enough to continue the journey again.  As if that were not enough,Because of Him my mind is clearing up. Now I have a new song to sing—A song of praise to the One who saved me. Because of what He’s done, many people will see and come to trust in the Eternal.  You have done so many wonderful things, had so many tender thoughts toward us, Eternal my God, that go on and on, ever increasing. Who can compare with You?”

Psalm 40:1-5 (THE VOICE)

If you feel that you want to be able to exercise the kind of gratitude that David displays in this verse, in your life, but have no idea how, or even where to start, why don’t you click on the banner below?

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