Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, and for most of us, it’s going to be very different from previous years. Most people I know have decided to only celebrate with the people they share a household with, no matter how hard that decision may have been. I think this year, more than ever before, it’s important to reflect on the holiday’s true meaning: a time to count one’s blessings. Even in the middle of turmoil and tragedy, it’s always possibly to find things to be grateful for.
Several years ago, I started my tradition of making a “Thanksgiving ABC’s” list. Some of the items on the list repeat year after year, others are new. Here’s this year’s list:
B: Baking. If you follow me on Facebook, you’ve seen some of my “stress management baking” results.
C: Cooking. This is the year I discovered that I actually like to cook.
D: Decorating for the holidays. I’m getting an early start this year and I’ll probably keep everything up much longer than I normally do. I’m all about adding as much light and joy to life as possible right now.
E: Essential workers – thank you for all you do to make life easier for the rest of us.
G: Gingerbread. But not just any gingerbread, it has to be the German kind.
H: Home improvement. I don’t exactly consider myself handy (actually, far from it!), but during this pandemic, I’ve discovered small ways to make my home nicer. I even painted my banister after never having painted anything in my life! I’m currently discovering the many uses of contact paper.
I: Instacart: A huge thank you to all the shoppers who risk their health so I don’t have to. You’re my heroes!
J: Jam. To me, there’s something comforting about a slice of bread with butter and jam, maybe because it’s something my mom often made for me as a snack when I was a kid. Current favorite: Bonne Maman Four Fruit.
L: Lazy Sundays
M: Meditation – it’s been a lifesaver most of my life, but especially this year.
N: Netflix. I don’t know what I’d do without it, especially now!
O: Oranges, and Clementines. I’m obsessed with citrus fruit in the winter months and add them to my salads almost every day.
P: Prime, as in Amazon Prime. Thank you Amazon and all your employees who work so hard so that we can safely stay home and easily get everything we need.
Q: Queen (the band)
R: Ruby – for the love and light she brought into my life for nine years. I miss you so much, baby girl.
S: Sunshine. Everything is easier to deal with when the sun is out.
U: Uplifting books, TV shows and movies. Now more than ever.
V: Veterinarians and veterinary staff, for all they do to make cats’ lives better. An extra thank you for working under incredibly stressful conditions throughout this pandemic.
W: Women’s Meditation Network – I discovered Katie Krimitsos in March, and her meditations have helped keep me grounded through this turbulent year.
X: X-mas. Even though I’m not crazy about this abbreviation of Christmas, I can never think of anything else that starts with X, and I do love Christmas.
Y: Yoga pants, aka what I live in these days.
Z: Zen – a state I strive for, but rarely achieve.
What are you grateful for this Thanksgiving?