Charlie Brown: We've got ANOTHER holiday to worry about. It seems Thanksgiving Day is upon us.
Sally Brown: I haven't even finished eating all of my Halloween candy.
Okay, okay—we’re entering that season in which we’re all expected to be in good moods all of the time. Regardless of what’s weighing on our minds or all the work we have left to do before we can be in the proper spirit of joy and thanksgiving. So we begin by gorging ourselves with food, numbing ourselves with booze, and trying to convince ourselves this is all FUN, FUN, FUN. And sometimes, we have to fake it for a while before we realize that—hey, we’re actually having fun!
I’ve been this way my entire life. I have always dreaded social occasions until I’m smack dab in the middle of them, when I usually realize at some point that I am enjoying myself. So tomorrow, my husband and I will drive to my aunt’s house for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner during which we will talk and eat and imbibe and share and pray, and yes—be thankful for all we have. Because, when it comes down to it, we have so much to be thankful for.
Here is my list, in no particular order:
1. My husband and dog who make me feel at home wherever they are
2. My family—immediate and extended—who love me unconditionally
3. All the children in our family who remind me what holiday wonder is
4. My health
5. A job that doesn’t crush my soul (at least not most days)
6. My friends and colleagues and students who help me get through the rough patches
7. Loved ones who can’t be near, but whom I get to visit virtually thanks to Skype (never thought I’d see the day I’d be thanking technology)
8. A mind that’s lucid a majority of the time
9. An editor who believes in me enough to publish my book next summer and the agent who convinced her of that
10. Bocelli’s mushroom ravioli and tilapia in lemon caper sauce
11. A country that, although flawed, keeps trying to get it right
12. The birds on my feeder that (scarily) I could watch for hours
13. The smell of ozone right before it rains
14. The promise of snow in the air
15. Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song”
See, I’ve done it again. In forcing myself to think happy, grateful thoughts, I have become happy and grateful for all that life has given me and mine. May your Thanksgiving bring you a renewed sense of gratitude and joy, and may the holiday season carry you on a wave of hope and optimism into the new year.