Developing Gratitude for Thanksgiving

Family Photo by Winnie Kesteloot

A few reasons to be grateful on Thanksgiving – Family, Friends, and Good Times.

I hate to admit this, but every time someone says “you should be grateful…” I feel like arguing the point.  I guess it’s something about my contrary nature when feeling forced into an attitude that may not come naturally.

It’s kind of like ol’ Charlie Cunnington.  Mr. Cunnington used to run a resort in Canada.  He had blue eyes the color of ice, a round, Santa Claus tummy, and a stare that used to scare us kids, even at the same time we liked him a lot.  Every time I politely asked him “How are you?” his answer was, “Worse!”  It would make me giggle to think someone was allowed to say something other than “Just fine, thank you, and how are you?”  I liked Mr. Cunnington and think of him from time to time, especially when someone says “we should be grateful…”

BUT a day to celebrate exactly those people and things I’m grateful for?  Celebrate the gift of friendship? That’s different!  Thanksgiving is a wonderful concept, and a day I look forward to a lot.


Glad you asked.  Here are my top 10 reasons for celebrating Thanksgiving with gusto:

  1. The good food—like mashed potatoes-yummy, yummy, forget the scale honey
  2. Every third Thursday in November off of work—And mostly I’ve had the Friday after off as well.  This is a special, two-for-the-price-of-one holiday.  Very cool.
  3. The good food—like cranberry sauce that’s made from whole cranberries – so easy to make, so fun with that sweet-tart taste, I can feel my mouth-watering even now.
  4. Making turkey pictures with kids—you know the kind where you trace their outstretched hands on a piece of paper and drop in eyes, a beak and feathers out of the basic shape? Takes me back to my elementary years.  How fun is that?
  5. The good food—like green bean casserole. We’ll pretend for a day that this is a healthy dish.
  6. Football–I’m not sure when this “tradition” hit our house, but I don’t think Thanksgiving would be the same without the crowds cheering throughout.  Will I remember the game, the score, the great plays? Not likely. But I love listening to the guys in our group laugh and shout “yeah!” all over the place.
  7. The good food—yes, I do love turkey! And turkey soup, turkey pot pies and turkey with mayo sandwiches.  Bring ‘em on!
  8. Friends and Loved Ones far away—They will be people I’ll send holiday greetings to soon, but on Thanksgiving Day, I like to sit for a quiet moment and think of the smiles shared because of the people in my life—family, friends, teachers, ministers, dog walkers, dancers, artists, writers, community members whose names I don’t know but who make my life better for the services and happy energy they provide.  How do you thank someone for being themselves? Thanksgiving day, and a moment with their smiles in my heart.
  9. Friends and Loved Ones close by—Sharing a day with people in the spirit of friendship is one of the most beautiful gifts you can give yourself.  My special guy and I have been so lucky over the years to be able to share this day with family, neighbors, business associates and friends of all kinds.  We’ve experienced all sorts of wonderful traditions and experiences, from prayers to jokes, from festive traditional foods to unusual dishes from around the world.  One thing every celebration has had in common is the generous spirit of those around us.  I am deeply humbled by the experience and, yes, very grateful.
  10. I am grateful for you, dear reader.  Without someone to read or listen, what good is a storyteller’s tale?  I wish you well today and always.