Thanksgiving Reflections

Thanksgiving Day is a holiday that is mainly celebrated in the United States and Canada.

There are so many different ways to celebrate this special day. When I was young, we visited my grandmother. When I was newly married, we visited my mother. After my mother died, I did not have a “traditional” way to celebrate. Sometimes my son and I would go out to eat, sometimes we ate out with friends. One special Thanksgiving (2011) my whole extended family ended up at my sister Ann’s home. This Thanksgiving I am preparing a traditional meal for my husband, Darin (#1 son) and some friends.

However the day is celebrated, it is a time to reflect on the many things for which we are thankful.

I am always thankful for my family (which has recently been expanded). They are my bedrock and so very special to me. It is a great gift to know that my family is always there for me.

I also am thankful for my friends. It is important to let friends know how important they are and to set aside time to nurture and enjoy the friendships.

I am fortunate to have good health. I do not take this for granted. I do what I can to stay healthy but I also recognize that this is a gift and I am grateful.

I would love to have you share your blessings.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving Day in your own way.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

How Do You Want to be Remembered?


A family patriarch died this past week and I was privileged to be part of the enormous group of family and friends who gathered to recall all of the wonderful times we had shared with him. Although Lin was one who could and did give great sermons, what really stood out was how he lived his principles. You could tell by his life events that he valued his God, family friends, and people everywhere. His love for my sister and all of his family was tangible. As around 80 family members gathered, talked, laughed, and cried, you felt that he was still with us. His sense of humor, his laughter, his big hugs were spoken of over and over. It was not big events or big donations that made him special. It was the everyday living and giving that made him who he was. People shared stories and if they had not done the sharing, many would not even realize all the little and big things he did that added up to one great man.

We should reflect on how we are living our daily lives. How do we want to be remembered?

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer

Holiday Presents

Buying and receiving presents is so personal. Every family has their traditions and even within the family there are differences.

One of the things I like about my family gift giving plan is that each year we give to a different family member. This year I give to my sister and her family in Washington. Next year I will give to my brother and his family in Ohio.

When I reflect on gifts I consider:

  • The gift should be personal. I like gifts that show you know the person. You are aware of their  interests and needs. I do not want a gift card unless it is for an event or an experience. As an organizer, I have seen so many unused gift cards floating around and I wonder how many just get lost. To me a generic gift card is just like giving money. You give me money. I give you money. This is not very special to me.
  • Gifting memories is better than gifting items unless the person you are giving to has some real needs. Using the gift money for a holiday get together or a special play or event beats a sweater.
  • Thought should be given as to if the receiver has a place for whatever you are gifting. A bread maker is not a good gift for a person with a tiny kitchen.
  • Consumable gifts are good. This might be special coffee, sweets, special soaps, or being taken to the spa or to a theater.
  • Once something is gifted, it belongs to that person to do with as they wish.

Now having said all of that, I do try to listen to the wishes of others in my family. If all my nephew wants is a gift card to Amazon – so be it. If my brother wants a gift card so that he can buy the books that he wants – OK.

I would love to hear comments on how you and your family handle gifting.

Jonda S. Beattie

Professional Organizer