Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. There’s something about connecting with the people I care about, and feeling the collective spirit of gratitude, that warms my heart.
On a superficial level, Thanksgiving is about a feast, and I do admit to really enjoying turkey, cranberry sauce and stuffing. But the essence of the holiday is really about how appreciation is in our face for an entire day.
But why should gratitude be relegated to a single day? I’m setting out to have a Thanksgiving that’s extendable throughout the year.
I’ll start by going around the table and asking everyone what they are grateful for. (This can be done by Skype, too.) If the answers are on the trite side, I’ll prompt more thoughtful responses by asking three questions:
1. What are you most grateful for on your own behalf this Thanksgiving?
2. What are you most grateful for on someone else’s behalf this Thanksgiving?
3. What would you like to be grateful for next Thanksgiving?
My own answers to these questions this year are:
1. The high quality of my life, the companionship from friends, loved ones and colleagues, and the joy I get from daily activities that have some sort of meaning for me.
2. The successful leg surgery my granddaughter, Natalie, recently completed. She still has both legs in casts, but that won’t last long.
3. A Congress that works together well and intelligently to face our many challenges head on.
Keeping Thanksgiving (the act, not the day) top of mind throughout the year may be the best way to celebrate the holiday. Either that or it’s a great way to start at least one New Year’s resolution early.