I know a lot of people are bemoaning the idea that Christmas has begun eclipsing Thanksgiving. My three-year-old, however, has been chomping at the bit to put the Christmas tree up since about two days after Halloween.
But I for one adore the Thanksgiving week. I try to take some time to slow down, think about what I’m grateful for and think about the little ways we can teach Tiny gratitude. I stop and think about the things that have happened since the last Thanksgiving – and try to find a way to be grateful for all of them, even the bad ones.
That last bit, oof, takes a lot. How do you be thankful for heartache? For a loss, for instance? For a disappointment? In my case, it can be a simple as being thankful I’m on the other side of it. Being thankful for the unplumbed reserves of resilience I didn’t know I had. Being grateful for friends who took the time to send an email, or a note, or just catch me for a hug. Being thankful for the small victories, knowing that enough of them piled up and celebrated can be a buoy. Thankful for a strong partner who worked with me – as a team – to push past it and emerge on the other side with a realization of what we do have, and that what we do have is pretty damned wonderful.
I think it starts in small ways, this being thankful. A smile and a verbal thank you when someone does something for you that is helpful. Telling people you are thankful for them, for their presence in your life. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture (although they are nice, I’ll admit) – and it shouldn’t take a national holiday to spur the sentiment.
So thank you, readers. I know I haven’t been the best at keeping up this year, and that’s something I’ve vowed to change. I’m grateful, though, that so many of you have been silently (and not so silently) cheering us on.
It’s meant the world.