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Give Thanks

Best. Thanksgiving. Ever.

“Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day.”

– Robert Caspar Lintner

When people ask me what my favorite holiday is, I always say Thanksgiving. It isn’t because I feel it’s underappreciated, even though it is sandwiched between the candies, costumes, and trick-or-treat of Halloween and the gifts, glitz, and glamour of Christmas. It is the peaceful, thankful sense of home, wrapping itself around me. However, how is a simple, mostly non-commercialized holiday like Thanksgiving supposed to complete?

Sure, there have been a few attempts to make Thanksgiving more exciting. You can buy a few Thanksgiving decorations and there is the A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special. But all told, sometimes it seems like the only purpose of Thanksgiving is to eat turkey, watch football, and, oh yeah, kick off the Christmas shopping season. Many people even call Thanksgiving “Turkey Day”!

Thanksgiving is so much more than this, though. Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for the gifts of life, love, joy, and more. Yes, we also see family and/or friends and eat a great meal together, but I choose to celebrate “Thanksgiving” all year round.

My husband and I have blended our family and friends together and established new traditions. Low and behold, when we asked our younger and older adult children and friends if they even liked turkey, the majority answered with a decisive no (huge sigh of relief) but agreed upon not changing the side dishes. We all chose a prepared, Cajon stuffed turporken as our main dish this year, since my husband was raised in New Orleans.

Another good way to establish new traditions, which we have done, is to think about what you have been thankful for—during this unprecedented year—and sharing it with everyone gathered. You could have a thankful jar, tree, journal, shoe-box, calendar, or space on the refrigerator in your own home and pick a few to share. This thanksgiving, think about asking your close-knit group to start recording what they are thankful for and by next Thanksgiving, you will all have a wonderful record of your grateful year. By establishing this tradition, your goal should be to move the spirit of Thanksgiving from a one-day event to a basic lifestyle attitude.

If you find yourself alone, this year or next—as I have in the past—your grateful list will undoubtedly brighten your spirits.

I wish you all a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!