Giving Thanks

By Shannon Burns

Thanksgiving is less than a week away. It is so exciting, as it marks the beginning of the holiday season and kicks off the magical festivities of the months to come. It is a day of family, love, appreciation, and reflection. It is a time of traditions, whether those include sharing a big meal with your loved ones, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, or playing a game of football with your family in the yard. Some of these traditions you may have celebrated since you were a kid, and maybe others have developed or changed as you grew up and your life changed. In general, Thanksgiving is a special and important day, and one that we should appreciate in and of itself.

Thanksgiving is a time to slow down, look around, and appreciate all that you see and all that you have. The fast pace of life often keeps us from taking the time to consider what we are grateful for, and how we are blessed in our lives. Just look around the table, and look at where you are in your life right now. Think about how you got here, and think about the people who helped you get here. Thanksgiving is a time to thank everyone in your life for their presence, love, and support. We sometimes forget to say “thank you” at other points in the year. But Thanksgiving is the day not only to thank your loved ones for all that they do for you, but to really consider and express all that that “thank you” entails and means to you.

I think about Thanksgiving, and the traditions that my family has, and I realize how much has changed over the years. Specifically, Thanksgiving is one of the handful of times during the year when all of my cousins are together. This is one of the opportunities we get to catch up and talk about where we are in our lives and our plans for the future. Thinking back to past Thanksgivings, I see how we have all witnessed each other grow up. Some things have stayed the same no matter where we are, such as our usual game of football in my grandparent’s front yard. But I think back to spending this day with them when we were kids, and it blows my mind that we are all now becoming adults. And I also know that more changes are bound to happen in the years to come as we continue on in life. Thanksgiving is a time to think about the past and reminisce, but also a time to look towards the future. Another reason to cherish Thanksgiving, and your traditions: they may change with time, so enjoy them now.

Thanksgiving is such a great day. I know that we all look forward to the turkey dinner and the pumpkin pie, but don’t forget to give thanks, because that is what the day is really about.

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