What Are We Thankful For?

Halloween is behind us; Christmas and Chanukah are ahead of us.  That must mean that it's time to rush through Thanksgiving.  (Quick, chow down on that turkey and stuffing before heading out to the mall to spend more than you have.)

In the rush of holidays and just in the general rush of life it is so easy to forget all that we have.  Everyone, no matter who you are, has something to be thankful for.  Do you take the time to acknowledge it?

Thanksgiving can be stressful, which kind of defeats the whole purpose of the holiday.  We want everything to be just right for the big family and/or friend gathering.  It doesn't have to be. I guarantee that at least 90% of the people at your holiday table will not notice that you haven't used your fine china (if you even have fine china) or that you wine glasses have water spots on them from the dishwasher.  The majority will just be happy to have a meal with the ones that they love.  It's about family, and of course, food.  It's about being thankful that we can all be together and share in the company and comfort.

Of course there will always be that one critic in the crowd.  The one who does want the table laid out like it was a set from "Downton Abbey."  As for that person, be thankful that you have the ability to let the criticism go.  Be thankful for all those who surround you who are happy to share the holiday with you.

My immediate family will be with me on Thanksgiving Day.  We are a small group.   I could bemoan the fact that much of my family lives far away and we rarely have an opportunity to get together; instead I will be thankful that it will be easy to provide a meal for them.  I could complain that we will not be able to have a turkey (because of my food allergies...yes there are people who are allergic to turkey/poultry and I found out the hard way one Thanksgiving).  Instead I (and my family) will enjoy the roast and many side dishes.  (Besides my father is not a big fan of turkey.  Another thing to be thankful for.)

I love Thanksgiving for many reasons.  Of course food is one of them, but there are so many other wonderful traditions that I associate with the day.  While I am busy preparing a mid-day meal, there is also quiet time and family time that I rarely seem to find these days. I look forward to:

  • Coffee and cinnamon buns while reading the paper and the multitude of Black Friday advertisements. (I don't "do" Black Friday, nor do I have a great deal of holiday shopping to do which is a good thing considering my limited financial resources, but I do enjoy perusing the circulars.  Sure, I could find the deals on line, but there's something special about sitting at the kitchen table and pouring over the circulars with a good cup of coffee in hand.)
  • Bringing out "story elf" (Hallmark's interactive version of "Mad Libs") and listening to my son giggle as he has the elf tell the most amusing stories.
  • Having the five people I love around the dining room table.  Last year there were only three as both my parents were in the hospital.  I am so thankful that all is restored to "normal" this year.
  • A glass (or two) of wine and then coffee with a little Baileys.  (And I'm not talking about the creamer that you find in the dairy aisle at the supermarket.)
  • The return of Ralph, the elf on the shelf.  He mostly seems to make mischief around our house as opposed to keeping an eye on my son and reporting back to Santa.  His shenanigans will keep our house in laughter throughout the season.
  • The decorating of the house, both inside and out.  The tree will come out of storage and I despair with how shabby it looks until my husband does his magic and suddenly it looks fresh and bright.  The living room will shrink in size as we (and by "we" I mean my husband) reconfigure furniture to fit the tree.  We all have our "assigned" decorating chores.  I will set up my Dept. 56 New England Village and Little Town of Bethlehem.  My husband will set up Rudolph and friends plushes on our mantle.  My son will decorate the majority of the tree.  I know it will not be easy and peaceful (it never is) and we will most likely have to run out sometime during the weekend to get either:  more lights, new lights, or some other assorted necessity.  But we will be together as a family, with no other outside stresses pressing down on us.
  • Sleep!  The alarms will not go off on Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday.  I can stay snuggled in my fleece sheets for as long as I want.  (Although I know the "type A" me will still push me out of bed at an early hour.)

I am thankful for all these and so much more.  What are YOU thankful for this Thanksgiving?


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