I love Thanksgiving.
I love every single moment, every single tradition, every single delightful taste and spicy fragrant smell, and every single festive sound that comes with this special one of a kind holiday. I love the coming together of family and friends and loved ones to share a meal and prayers of thanksgiving and also a toast or two of cheer. I love that it’s the busiest travel holiday of the year. And although living in the Midwest can make travel at the end of November somewhat precarious and challenging, I love that people find a way to do it anyway.
I love that the United States has a special holiday or day set aside in which to give thanks. I think it’s one of the reasons we have been such a blessed nation. And I think when a person gives thanks in all things, they too will be richly blessed.
It’s the GIVING part of this holiday, with all the special food drives and donation centers helping men and women and families have a Thanksgiving meal and food on their tables that especially warms my heart. This year, my church distributed 55 food baskets and my department at work collected 491 lb. of food for an area food bank. Just two examples of what I know to be countless other efforts all across America.
For some reason I often find myself reflective at certain holidays and this one is no different. Maybe it’s because I have so many past Thanksgivings and sweet moments to remember, that I find myself nostalgic. Or maybe it’s the memory of all the faces around the many different tables that have changed throughout the years and with each Thanksgiving.
Choosing not to travel this year, I was humbled and overwhelmed by all the invitations I received from both family and friends to join them for their Thanksgiving. I celebrated with old college friends and their family, experiencing for the first time their special holiday foods and traditions, on a day that turned out to be rainy and unseasonably warm.
Hours later, I left their home savoring the conversations and the lovely meal and desserts, along with some new memories to cherish and an empty pie basket lovingly packed with Thanksgiving leftovers. It was while reheating those delicious leftovers of turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy, along with stuffing and acorn squash and carrots (no sweet potatoes or sautéed mushrooms or broccoli casserole or green bean casserole this year), that started me thinking about thanksgiving leftovers.
Here are some leftover thanksgivings of which I am truly grateful –
- For the rich fabric of family that I am and have been blessed to be a part of as a sister, daughter, mother, aunt, niece, cousin, granddaughter, and godmother.
- For so many dear and wonderful friends who bless and enrich my life.
- For my job that keeps the lights on and food on my table.
- For my car that takes me places in comfort and with peace of mind.
- For my creative talents and abilities
- For all my art and creative supplies
- For my love of words
- For all my everyday freedoms and for the men and women who fought and continue to fight for those freedoms
- For my brainstorming and always overflowing with ideas and wonderful working brain
- For the blessings of excellent health and also for all the knowledge and care of amazing doctors and nurses and other healthcare and wellness experts.
- For my ability to see and hear and taste and smell and speak and walk and talk and read and write and laugh and cry and work and play and sing and dance and…the list goes on and on.
- For my home and a working furnace…and a working washer and dryer…and all my appliances that make my life so much easier.
- For my ability to cook and savor and appreciate good food.
- For my love of grocery shopping and for stores and markets that offer such amazing variety and bountiful choices, and for all those who bring food to my table — the farmers, the gardeners, the growers, the drivers, and the workers.
- For my love of correspondence and my plethora of cards and stamps and writing supplies.
- For my Fitbit that keeps me motivated and my Fitbit friends who do the same.
- For the ever changing seasons
- For lovely full moons and faraway twinkling stars and gorgeous sunrises and magical sunsets
- For majestic mountains and blue skies with soft billowy clouds and fields of flowers and far reaching acres of green blowing grass
- For raindrops and snowflakes
- For fresh air to breathe and clean life-giving water
- For fireflies and bumblebees and all of nature
- For this lovely jaw dropping incredible and precious earth – this place we all call home.
- For my belief and love of God and my faith that has been a constant source of peace and strength throughout my life.
- For my ability to learn and for my love of reading and the magic of books and make believe and imagination.
- For coffee with cream and special cups that remind me of special people and moments.
- For all the wonderful places I have traveled and all the others that beckon me from afar…someday.
- For electricity and running water and indoor plumbing and DVR.
- For technology that keeps me connected to those I love and care about either by phone or text or email or FaceTime chats or Facebook posts or tweets…and for being able to log off or turn them all off, so I can recharge my own batteries and give rest to my soul.
- For prescription glasses that help me see.
- For men and women who collect my garbage and recycling and clean the streets and plow the snow and work in the water treatment plants and do so many other jobs I wouldn’t want to do.
- For firefighters and police officers who work to keep me safe.
- For men and women who dedicate their lives in service to God and others.
- For this year’s Christmas cards and my favorite holiday decorations that wait for my action.
- For countless other blessings too numerous to mention – my cup and heart truly runneth over.
- And for you dear reader, I’m thankful for you too.
My Thanksgiving Thoughts this Year