I am trying to pause today, as one holiday swiftly passes onto the next. In the midst of family visiting, Thanksgiving cleanup, Black Friday shopping, Christmas decorating, and children racing around at a fever pitch, I reflect on all I have to be grateful for.
I am immensely blessed, during this holiday season and everyday:
- My family is healthy (knock on wood!)
- My children are bright, happy, and growing like weeds
- My writing is improving every day and I am working on my third middle grade novel for this year
- I enjoy writing a blog with my generous and insightful critique partner
- I have a small group of friends that I very much enjoy reconnecting with each time we can sneak away from our families for a dinner out
On Thursday, we welcomed 23 people into our home for Thanksgiving. You may be saying, Are you crazy? Pulling off a meal this large did mean a lot of work (deep cleaning, shopping, food preparation, etc.), but it was worth every effort. Thanksgiving in our home means both my husband’s and my families all around us, for the only time all year. It means cousins playing underfoot. It means lots of good food, from our kitchen and the kitchens of our families. It means smiles, laughter, catching up, and bittersweet goodbyes.
This year, my son and I created a paper chain of Thanksgiving. We wrote what we were thankful for on a slip of paper, and asked our guest to do the same. We joined them all in a long chain, reminding us of all we are grateful for. Here’s a sampling:
- I am thankful for my mom and dad and house
- Health, family, and love
- My sister, baseball, books, mommy
- Penguins, bears, goats, cats, butterflies, hummingbirds… (my brother’s girlfriend REALLY loves animals)
- My family, monkeys, my friends (did she mean that her family are monkeys, or that her friends are monkeys?)
- Food and shelter
- I’m thankful to Aunt Katie for making all this yummy food
I think they covered the spectrum pretty well, don’t you think? However, it doesn’t matter whether we agree with what each person is thankful for. The most important part is the act of being thankful itself.
Given all of the suffering, poverty, natural disasters, and other impediments to just getting through the day, I feel even more blessed to be free to live my life. My only wish is to find time during this crazy holiday season to enjoy all of these blessings. Especially those cuddled up next to me reading books in footy pajamas.
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving on Thursday, and are preparing for an equally blessed holiday season. What do you do to express your gratitude for your blessings? Please share!