Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s an American tradition; the day we give thanks for all we have. Thanks for the things, the conditions and the people we may take completely for granted the other 364 days of the year.
What I love most about Thanksgiving is the purity of it.
Notice how we don’t buy each other gifts. You know, the gifts we must make sure are at least as good as the ones we think we will receive. The gifts we cannot afford. The gifts we end up paying for, many months after the holiday has passed.
Notice how it does not matter what religion we practice. Anyone can celebrate Thanksgiving. It is the holiday that celebrates diversity and inclusion. Kind of like how our forefathers envisioned us as a country.
Notice how there aren’t any goofy, make-believe characters that we have morphed into being the icon of Thanksgiving. Not even the turkey has taken on any meaning, other than food for our feast. Now I don’t have anything against Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. They are great fairy tales for kids. They just don’t have anything to do with Christianity, nor does spending billions of borrowed dollars to celebrate these characters.
Gratitude carries such amazing power. Gratitude instantly reshapes our over-amped ambitions, competitiveness and rat-race mentality. Gratitude heals many wounds and every relationship, when we give it a chance.
If you want to give someone a gift that will really make a difference — a gift that they will remember and likely keep forever — write them a letter about how much you appreciate them, love them and cherish them. Tell them the specific things they do and who they are that is such a gift to you. It is free, but priceless.
Today I am reminded of, and celebrate, those qualities of my life for which I am thankful. I share them with you here so that you will perhaps make a list of your own. Carry them in your heart all year, and all your years to come are guaranteed to be more peaceful, loving and abundant.
I am thankful for:
My GOD…for without faith where would I be today? God is with me and in my heart and mind always. He lives in my soul. I am thankful to live in a country where I can worship God freely!
My health … for without it, nothing else matters much. This is the area of my life I still take for granted, and I do make improvements every year. Keep taking more vitamins as they find new ones to cure more diseases. Need to learn that new dance step and zumba. Still want to fit in a marathon or triathlon!
My lover, husband and best friend Greg … who inspires in me a love like I have only imagined. He makes me want to be the best woman I could ever be.
My family, sister, brother, step-sons, granddaughters…they all love me unconditionally. Grandchildren are the most fascinating of all! Thank you GOD for these beautiful creatures!
My beloved parents Doug and Polly…it was a short lived life for them. I was their eldest child of 3 and they did their very best. They say they did without carpet so I could be dressed the best. They made certain I missed out on no activities; bowling, dance lessons, church choir and girl scouts to name a few of the many.
My friends … you know, the ones who do not have a vested interest in any conditions; they are just my friends. Period. I am so thankful for the people in my life who accept me as I am. No matter what, they are always there and always will be. These people accept me even with all the mistakes I unintentionally make!
My experiences … some extraordinary, some frightful. Some I am happy to have out of the way, so I do not have to go through them in the future. They have given me great empathy, some wisdom, and have fed my infinite curiosity about life, people and places.
My education…as a child I didn’t appreciate this and now I am so grateful and proud of my college education. This is something no one can take from me!
My financial freedom … which gives me so many things. Freedom to pursue my passions: travel quilting, tennis, skiing, reading, personal development, business. The peace of mind that we will never be homeless, forced to take a meaningless job, or be in a position to not take care of each other.
My associates … so much of my freedom and peace of mind comes from the loyalty, gratitude and commitment of the people with whom I work: colleagues who are leaders as well; the team of people I work with in my office; corporate leaders and the clients I serve. I vow never to take any of them or their efforts for granted, for without them … well, I would just have to start over. That would not be fun!
My country … what extraordinary blessing for those of us who live in theUSA. As selfish, immature and twisted as some of our country’s political, business and religious leaders are, we still are the place where people die every day in an attempt to come here.
People will die this week in pursuit of the level of religious freedom we enjoy; in pursuit of this economic opportunity; in pursuit of our Bill of Rights. They will give their lives attempting to cross our borders or cross an ocean to freedom. They will pay a king’s ransom and risk their lives just for a shot at the life that so many of us Americans, take for granted.
If you are thankful for nothing else this day, be thankful you live where you do and that you can do what you do today.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this day was the most celebrated day in our year? Celebrated by us truly giving thanks, saying thank you and meaning thank you.
I do thank each of you for the part you play in my life. Without you, it would be maybe a little or maybe a lot different. I love it just the way my life is.