Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What I'm Grateful For

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love the idea of a day set aside to share food and companionship with others as we celebrate gratitude. There is no big commercialization of Thanksgiving – witness the shift in the stores from Halloween directly to Christmas. Thanksgiving’s value to the consumer society is only in its passing to the shopping extravaganza of Black Friday.

So I love this day. I don’t have to buy presents or send out cards. I don’t have to fight crowds in the mall. I just get to be grateful.

So why don’t I feel more grateful this Thanksgiving? I can rattle off numerous blessings, big and small. By most anyone’s standards, I haven’t a care in the world. And yet my heart is heavy.

Perhaps because people near and dear to me are approaching this holiday season without loved ones who have recently died – a young husband and father, a wife of many seasons, a daughter. Perhaps because our political leaders continue to engage in tactics and rhetoric that would be comical if they weren’t so destructive. Perhaps because I know that last night as the temperature plummeted, there were homeless people in my neighborhood looking for a place to stay warm and dry, or perhaps to just stay alive.

So how can I take this heaviness and find the gratitude in it? I can be even more humbly grateful for the blessings I have, knowing how fleeting and precious our treasured moments are. I can be grateful for awareness of other people’s suffering. I can be grateful for an open heart to feel compassion. I can be grateful for the abundant resources I can share through contributing to shelters and food banks. I can show my gratitude by saying thank you to as many people as possible. And I can tell the people who bless my life how much I love them.

I hope that all of you find joy in this holiday of thankfulness.

I would like to share a blessing that someone sent to me recently.

“Here is my prayer – that you are given at least daily a reminder from at least one of those to whom your presence on this Earth has been important that you are remembered and that you are loved.”


  1. Everyone with whom I come into contact is important to me. I wish them all Happy Holidays!

  2. Oh, that is exactly right! That is the best Thanksgiving message I have seen yet! Thanks, JJ!

  3. Very thought provoking. Found you via over 40 bloghop. Following.

    Looking forward to reading more. Happy Thanksgiving.



  4. Thanks, Jewel. Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

  5. Nice post, it is important to always count our blessings

  6. Galen: Beautiful words and a great approach to gratitude. I really appreciated what you suggested about looking past all that is wrong and finding those things to be grateful for. I think that is what it is all about. Happy Thanksgiving.

  7. Hello Again,

    Hope you are having an awesome day, I just want to thank you for visiting my blog and your gracious comment, have a happy thanksgiving.

  8. A thought-provoking post, Galen. I am enjoying going back and looking through your blog.

    Thanks for visiting my blog, and I wish you a very happy holiday!

  9. I really like how you took the sad feelings you were experiencing and translated them into deeper gratitude. Great post.

    I am a new follower. Thanks for visiting my blog.


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