I want to use this post to wish everyone who reads this lovely blog a belated and wonderful Thanksgiving, and I also want to wish you happiness for the upcoming holiday season. Whatever it is you celebrate, I hope you enjoy it. I woke up this morning in my usual post-weekend mood: grumpy and tired. I came into work feeling a bit better after my walk into the office, but what really lifted my mood were the beautiful decorations in our office lobby. The columns above the big security desk had red ribbons wrapped around them with bows on top, a sleigh filled with large Christmas tree decorations was in the corner, and a small, lighted Christmas tree was in the other corner. To top it all off, they had placed large pots of white poinsettias in the entranceway. Just seeing the effort they put into decorating the lobby changed my mood for the day (my office moved locations last January, so this building’s traditions are all new for us!)

I’ve always been a huge fan of the holidays. Starting around mid-October I get so excited for Thanksgiving and Christmas that I can’t wait to start decorating. I love watching Christmas movies and specials on TV, and I definitely start listening to Christmas music in the beginning of November. Yep, I’m that girl.

Why am I raving on about my over-enthusiastic holiday habits? I want to talk about the holidays and office morale. This time of the year is the busiest in my department–we are all trying to meet end-of-year deadlines and solve crises and get through it unscathed (this is only somewhat melodramatic–it’s actually a very stressful time). If I couldn’t open up Pandora and listen to Christmas music all day (or, sometimes during those especially stressful days, classical music), I think I would go nuts. Or, if the managers didn’t get together and plan a very cool office Christmas gift-giving party as well as a party at a local hotel complete with dinner and dancing, I think we would all lose our minds. There’s something about weathering a hard time with other people who support you (and who are going through it themselves) that makes everything seem okay. I work in a friendly office and I’m thankful for that. I’ve made new friends here who I’m thankful for, and I’ve gained skills that I’m amazed I’ve learned.

I want to say to everyone: look around you. Think about the people in your life that made you smile this week. Be thankful for them, whether they are co-workers, family, friends, or even complete strangers.

I’d love to know–what else are you thankful for this Monday after Thanksgiving?