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A week's worth of simple indulgences for autumn

Thanksgiving gratitude

During this hectic holiday time of year, it's vital to take some time each day to simply enjoy your life and your family. Here are a week's worth of indulgent ideas for your friends, your family and yourself - especially for Thanksgiving!

Day one

Grab a friend and set out for a brisk autumn hike in the prettiest area you can think of within a few minutes of your home. On your walk, make an agreement with your friend to neither gossip nor complain. See what new conversations arise under these guidelines.

Day two

Invite over your next-door neighbor for hot-mulled cider. Need a recipe? Here's a good one.

Day three

Buy three copies of your favorite novel. Give one copy to your best friend, one to your mother, and one to your mother-in-law. You'll trigger an interesting book discussion (or an enriching tradition of book-swapping).

Day four

Treat yourself to a fall flower arrangement, complete with vibrant shades of red, yellow, and orange. Set the arrangement on your desk, windowsill, or kitchen table - wherever you're sure to see it throughout the day.

Day five

This evening, gather your family and decide on one charity that you will sponsor this holiday season. Each family member can brainstorm ways that they can personally raise funds or put aside a few resources for the cause.

Day six

Take out a simple piece of paper and tell a relative - whom you don't expect to see during Thanksgiving - all the reasons that you are grateful for him or her. Mail it.

Day seven

Challenge yourself to offer a sincere compliment to each person you speak with today. Work on weaving the kind words into each conversation. Such a habit will transfer a feeling of goodwill to everyone around you, and it may help you overcome shyness. After all, now you've always got something to say!

Now make up your own simple indulgences and bring the magic of the season to your every day.

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