Today is about what really matters in life.
It is not about shopping bargains. It is not about which family member makes the most money. It is not about whose kid is doing better in school or sports.
Thanksgiving should be about examining what truly makes life happy and rewarding.
For most people, that is something quite simple: family and health.
And sometimes it isn’t until you have a disruption or loss in your life in either of those areas that you appreciate how vital they are to your security and serenity.
What constitutes family has a very broad description, in our view. It is not about blood ties or marriage licenses. “Family” can be the friends you care for deeply, the co-workers you spend many hours with, a neighbor who is like a grandparent, even your longtime pets.
Thanksgiving is about being grateful for the special people in your lives and for what you have — not what you wish you had.
Earlier this week, we asked our Facebook readers what they are grateful for, and their responses were, just as we expected, focused on things that can’t be purchased. We’ll share a few:
Aimee Douglas: “All 5 of my children, they are my greatest blessings. I thank God every day for them.”
Annie Taylor: “Family, friends, love of my life, good health and, of course.. the Adirondacks! Best place in the world to live!”
Hannah Bushey: “Grateful that my son got the surgeries he needed and we were able to come home last night after a month-long hospital stay. We have no holiday plans, just enjoying being home.”
Michelle Benedict: “I’m very grateful for having my 82-yr-old mother still with me!!I love you momma!!”
Sarah Ryan: “Very thankful for family, friends and of course my kids (dogs)....Diesel and Dixie!!!”
Luiz Claudio Bonilla Araujo: “I am grateful for my twin daughters, who are beautiful, healthy and adorable children.”
Fred V. Provoncha: “I’m grateful for those who went before. They worked and loved and fought and died to give me the opportunities that I’m heir to. As my pilgrim ancestors sat down to the 1st Thanksgiving meal, mindful that half their number had died building their settlement, I will remember them and those others that sacrificed that I might have so much to be grateful for.”
Amanda Trow-Racine: “So very grateful for my wonderful family and friends.... AND that I do NOT have to travel.”
Tammy Whitty-Brown: “My amazing husband Bob Brown, his son and my children and grandson and our families. With a loving family, we are rich beyond dollar signs.”
Lisa Smith: “I am grateful for many things but truly feel we should count our blessings all year round instead of just Thanksgiving.”
Let’s all take that last bit of advice, from Lisa Smith, and extend our gratitude and love well beyond today.