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:

A: Allegra

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.

F: Friends

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.

K: Kindness

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.

T: Torties!

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?

11 Comments on Thanksgiving ABC’s 2020

  1. Your ABC’s are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your special brand of wisdom. The “C” in my alphabet is Conscious Cat ❤

  2. I lost my 16 year old Bennie in August. She had only been with me 4.5 years but she was wonderful, talkative, loving company. She had hyperthyroidism, controlled with medication for years. But finally she developed cardiac arrythmia, and our vet warned me she could have a stroke. (Which I knew, I’m a retired nurse.) And so she did, early one morning. I took her in to the Pet Hospital, the staff made her very comfortable. A soft, round bed on the treatment room table which I was able to pull to me keep her up against me so she could feel me there as she went to sleep. I was so grateful to the staff for making her departure as comfortable as possible. … Of course, there was an empty space in my home then. After awhile I started watching the websites of shelters here for a cat who needed me. And sure enough, she showed up on the SPCA’s site. Lucy is 12 (the age of Bennie when I rescued her) and also has hyperthyroidism. This is her third (and forever!) home, so she’s afraid of some things, like other cats (sadly, but we’ll get past it). But we made friends pretty easily and quickly; by the end of her first month (October) here we were Friends. I’m At Home with back pain + pandemic and Lucy is good company. She doesn’t talk much, but she likes to be with me, next to me on the bed, on my lap or next to me in the chair in the living room. And she likes to PLAY! She showed me the games she likes, finding and using what she wanted herself! She brought an empty paper grocery bag from the kitchen to the living room to play with it. After a little birthday celebration she pulled all the tissue paper from the box it was collected it, and put her favorite little ball in it to search for it, get it out and return it to the paper pile! I am so grateful for this cat coming into my life now.

  3. I enjoyed reading your list. I just discussed it with my husband and we are both going to make our own lists. I think it will help us focus on the good around us instead of the bad, like we tend to do. Thank you for the reminder.

  4. Hello Ingrid: Your gratitude list always inspires me. Mine would pretty much be the same except this year B would be for Babies! Great granddaughter Magic was born June 4 and Sonya on June 26. Logan is due Feb 2. Our family is growing! Also: as I’m always interested in ancient Christianity – X was used in Roman times, along with the fish symbol, as a way to code there was a Christian gathering or message in the days when being a Christian was subversive. So X-Mas is early Christian for Christmas. I’m hugging my cats, Adam & Eve this Thanksgiving. They have kept me sane!

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