The Northern Virginia
CFS/ME, FMS, OI, & Gratitude
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Essay: A Non-Traditional Top Ten List

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Elly's Gratitude Group Member Writings
for those experiencing
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, & Orthostatic Intolerance

"Top Ten Non-Traditional Ways to Spend a Holiday"

by Toni Marshall
November 2006

Autumnal Kaleidoscope by Marshall

Your family and friends may be as hard working as mine, dreading the decisions they must make for Holiday Dinner among divorced parents, in-laws, who may also be divorced, and you, often accommodating as many groups of family as possible by making more than one stop in one day, often with only one day off from work.

It's easier to feel grateful for family and friends while alone on a holiday when I remember making similar difficult decisions in years past. It's even easier when I find something satisfying, if non-traditional, to do on a holiday. Try this list:

Top 10 Non-Traditional Ways to Spend a Holiday

--Inspired by David Letterman's Top 10 List & some Holidays of mine & friends.

Call relatives and friends after dinner on the holiday, rather than joining them for dinner. 
Yep, Norman Rockwell had his day and this is ours;

Breakfast rather than dinner, at a restaurant or a few eggs at home;

Catch up on cable television marathons, like TNT's "The Closer" or SciFi Channel's "Eureka," etc.  Yep, as long as there's food and cable in the house, I enjoy being home in my pajamas!  So much to be grateful for:  electiricity, cable/satellite/Fiber Optics service, a VCR tape or DVD and a player, refrigeration, shelter, heat or air conditioning, vision, hearing or
closed-captioning, wonderful technologies and services by people we're never gonna meet, etc.;

Eat Out for your Holiday dinner with family or friends.  After all, if
people are going to work that hard for such a big and important meal, it's
nice when they get paid for it;

Make a list of everyone who has touched you in an important way this past
year, be it doing something for you, saying something you appreciated, or just
being there, or more simply, appreciating delivery or repair or other people who
show up reliably providing for your wants or needs;

Write a thank you to a few of the people on the above list
(Non-Traditional Way #6), whether you mail them to the person or not;

Take photos of your pets or other animals and living things around your
home or apartment - like the bright red cardinal I saw in my apple tree this morning;

Be creative: Doodle with paper and pen that're handy, or, draw something
you think you can't, or, scribble and then color the spaces of the scribbles
with highlighters, crayons, colored pencils or pens, etc., or, paint with
fingerpaints, or, start a collage project by cutting out interesting things from
magazines to paste into a notebook or onto poster paper, etc., etc.;

Bundle up and soak up some fresh air at a local park.  Yep, one of my
favorite birthdays was celebrated on a sandy beach near home;

And, The #1 Non-Traditional Way to Spend a Holiday (drum roll, please!):

Receive Therapeutic Massage at home.  Yes, a member of our group wrote
to tell us how pleased she was to arrange for an in-home Massage for today,
Thanksgiving Day, offered by her massage therapist!

If anyone out there has more ideas for a non-traditional holiday,
we can make a top 20 list, or top 30. Send your ideas. And thanks.

Wishing you all a fine holiday season.

Autumnal Kaleidoscope by Marshall

EGG - Elly's Gratitude Group


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Updated November 22, 2011