ThanksgivingOnce again, Thanksgiving has quickly descended upon us. It always comes quicker than we think, yet the advertisements for it seem to go up sometime around noon on July 4th…OK, a tad exaggeration. This year, I’ll have my usual cast of characters: my friends and family.

However, this will also be the first year without my mom, who will be very much missed. But I will be thankful that I had such a wonderful relationship with my mom when she was on this planet. I am setting a place for her with a rose at the table. Fitting since her name was Rose. I’ll also eat some brownies in her honor… a daughter’s got to do what she has to do.

We’ll have our usual fanfare of food: turkey and lasagna. I’m Italian we need that Italian touch.

There also will be a ton of baked goods, which will give me a good reason to do the midnight run on New Year’s. We’ll play music, tell funny stories, play charades, sing, and be thankful we are all together. (If not, I’ll write about it in another blog.)

Be Thankful Every Day, Not Just Thanksgiving Day

With that being said, Thanksgiving should not be the only time of year you are thankful. Make it a practice each morning to say three things you are thankful for. Don’t take people or things you have for granted.

The problem is some people do not enjoy the holidays. They moan about how horrible things are. And granted, there are times in life that things aren’t so wonderful at the moment. But as any motivational talker will tell you. It’s all what you focus on in life that counts.

Aim the inner camera at the nice shots, then life is wonderful. Aim the inner camera at the garbage, and life seems dismal.

TMayflower Thanksgivinghanksgiving and Pilgrims

Of course, you can always aim the camera at the past and compare notes to our forefathers and be thankful that you weren’t a Pilgrim.Let’s take a brief look at history and see how the first Thanksgiving actually went.

During the Pilgrims’ first winter in New England, 15 of the 18 married women died, as did 22 of the 38 men. It might have been the marriage that killed them…but that’s just a guess. ,Actually the Pilgrims needed the fat from butter to survive the harsh winter, a big diet no-no today, but face it, “I can’t believe it’s not butter” was not an option then.

With the best-laid plans of mice and men (what about rats and women?) the Pilgrims had actually planned to bring enough butter, but before getting on the Mayflower they were forced to pay the English 100 pounds. (Not weigh 100 lbs., pay 100 pounds.)

So out went the provisions, including their butter, which was their insurance policy to dealing with the bitter cold, and unfortunately no turkey could help them. It’s amazing how something so trivial today, could be so life threatening back then.

 

Thanksgiving dinnerDon’t Sweat the Small Stuff at Thanksgiving

So as we all reminisce on our recent Thanksgiving and get geared up for the up coming holidays with family and friends, let’s remember not to sweat the small stuff. If Aunt Mary happens to slobber over your face as she gives you a giant kiss, just pretend she’s a cocker spaniel. If Uncle George happens to tell you about his appendix operation for the millionth time just be happy he still has a memory and doesn’t fart in your face.

When you think of it, this can one of the things that we thank the government for – a forced holiday that sets up family traditions. No matter if you dread it or love it that’s a day marked on our calendars to bond with loved ones who don’t live with us.

The other 360 days or so (we do have other holidays) we are too wrapped up in our own lives to stop and spend quality time with them. You know work, errands, household chores have a way of dominating our lives.

  • No time to smell the roses, too busy making money to buy them.
  • No time take a walk in the park; hang a picture of it in your office instead.
  • No time to sit down and really discuss the day with your kids, just kiss them goodnight and look at them for a brief moment lovingly at night.
  • Make calls to good friends or love letters to your significant other? Nope, no time… shoot them an email instead. Just remember to save it. Then if things don’t work out because you’re so busy you can always delete their name, and copy and paste the letter (If it’s a good one) for the next runner-up.

Holidays at least give us an excuse to “just be” and enjoy the people for who they are – warts and all.

12 Things We All Can Be Thankful For

But just in case you still can’t see the light and forgive any past wrongdoings by others, here are a few things that all of us can be thankful for:

  1. That fruitcake is only sold during the holidays.
  2. That we now have answering machines and caller ID so we don’t have to speak to people we don’t want to.
  3. That there is now no-fat candy so you can have half the taste and none of the guilt.
  4. That there are some American cabdrivers left.
  5. That Yoko Ono is no longer singing in public.
  6. That your next doctor appointment isn’t with Dr. Kovorkian.
  7. That you haven’t been abducted by aliens, at least not that you know of.
  8. That we live in a country where we can make fun of our president or anything else for that matter and not get shot. (You may appear all over the news…but you will at least still be breathing.)
  9. That you and your family are not turkeys (or are they?)
  10. That someone invented Viagra
  11. That the Indians didn’t make us eat tofu
  12. That we can buy all the butter or margarine we want.

It’s the small things in life that we need to look at and be thankful for. Laugh often, love large and enjoy life’s moments now so you don’t have regrets later. If you do these things during this season and in the future, you will always remember to put the thanks in Thanksgiving and everything else you do. Happy Holidays.