As much as I love birthdays, Christmas, Easter and Valentine's Day, Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite holiday. There's something so special about sitting down with family to enjoy a delicious meal without the added stress of finding the perfect gift for every single family member like Christmas. As an added bonus, Thanksgiving usually falls a little before finals week so it offers some time to recharge and then prepare for your last round of tests. In addition to being thankful for some time off from school, here are a few more things to remember to be thankful for.
Whether you're sitting at a table of two or twenty-two, if you're with family (or friends that act like family), you should be thankful. Yes, sometimes we don't understand how we share the same DNA, but time spent together is even more special when we remember not everyone can spend the holidays with loved ones. And if you're truly dreading seeing your relatives this year, at least be thankful that everyone will be going back home after a few hours!
Even if you don't consider yourself in perfect health, if you are able to sit and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with friends or family, you should be thankful. Be thankful for your body: for your legs that let you walk and your arms that help you with everyday tasks. Be thankful for your hands for letting you write and type and grab that spoon to eat your pecan pie. Be thankful for your eyes that let you watch football and the Macy's parade. Thanksgiving is not the day for saying "oh, I can't eat the carbs or the pie," it's for being thankful for all your body does for you.
It seems crazy to think that there are places in this world where people aren't allowed to go to school. Girls across the globe are being kept from going to school and some are even killed, so remember that next time you consider skipping class to sleep in. Be thankful for each and every opportunity.
Especially after such a heated election season, it's important to be thankful for your freedom. Even though you might not be thankful for that one family member that always brings up politics, at least you all are free to share that dialogue. In some places in the world, people don't dare to share their opinions because doing so would mean jail or even death. So even though you might be tired of politics, at least remember you really are so lucky to live in a place like the United States.
This one kind of goes along with that "freedom" part. Luckily for you, believing in whatever you want is perfectly acceptable in our great nation. I always try to go to Mass on Thanksgiving Day to say my thank-yous to Jesus, too.
"Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his love endures forever. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things." Psalm 107: 1,8-9.