Do Your Christmas Shopping Early with the Bottle Project

Remember, it’s not about whether the glass is half full or half empty – it’s about the value of the glass. The glass of your life is always valuable, because we can fill it up with opportunities to love and be loved.

As we continue to face tough times in our nation and our world, let’s help each other to remember all the blessings that God sends us every day through others who touch us with their selfless love.

I know you have heard all that before. But it’s easy to forget those kind pick-me-ups, such as the way someone smiled at the grocery store or how a family member went the extra mile to let us know how loved we are.

It’s important to remind ourselves of how special every single person we meet is and how much they make a difference. Remember, too, that we have the opportunity to give all that love back.

But how exactly do we remind ourselves of all that long after we are done reading this column or when the Sunday church bells have long faded into the chaos and the catastrophes of the week?

That’s where the blessings bottle project comes in.

First, go rummage around your house for an old vase or glass jar that you have always liked but that doesn’t get enough use. Or take a trip to your local St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store. You will find all kinds of forgotten yet beautiful bottles sitting up on top of the shelves; usually it will only set you back a buck or two.

Each week between now and Christmas, you and your family will write down one blessing you have to be grateful for on a piece of paper and put in the jar.

Think of blessings that go beyond having the fanciest car on the block, or being the best-dressed person at work. You should probably shy away from anything having to do with hitting the lotto, too.

Try to focus on things like how people came to help you last week when you were sick or remembering the people who celebrated with you on your birthday. Or maybe the way somebody picked you up the last time you were down.

If you keep up with it, you should have at least a dozen or so in there within the next few months.

Then on Christmas day, after all the other presents are opened, take down the jar and start reading all the wondrous ways that you have been blessed, and it will be the greatest Christmas gift of all.

If you want, then you can empty it out and start all over to get ready for Easter.

Then keep the glass out somewhere for the rest of the year in plain sight where it will be a permanent pick-me-up.

Eventually you will get into the habit of realizing just how much you have to be thankful for. Once you do it will totally transform your head, your heart and the way you look at life.

In fact, you will become so enthusiastic and grateful about your life that you will probably start being a real pain to all those negative people out there who insist on being angry and ungrateful.

And as the old saying goes, “You should be so lucky!”

Chris Benguhe latest book, “Overcoming Life’s 7 Common Tragedies: Opportunities for Discovering God,” is available on . Visit .

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