Giving Thanks

With thoughts of past Thanksgivings in mind, I perused my journals, a couple of current ones and a few dating back to the early 90s. Curious as to what I wrote about on those Thanksgivings, I wondered how did we celebrate? With whom?  Where?  And what was I grateful for then?

From my journal: November 28, 1991 Hillsboro, Oregon

“I am thankful that my family is well and that Robert’s family is, too….that we appreciate what we have, that I am a vegetarian…that I have time to explore my life..I’m thankful for our new friends here. Thankful for so many things!.”

From my journal: November 25, 1993 Rolling Hills Estates, California

“Went to Paula and Barry’s house. Ella was there, but Ralph stayed home as he was getting over the flu. Lily and Ben were energetic and amusing! Need rest!”

From my journal: November 22, 2007, London England

“What I am thankful for…Robert, Lox, our families, our longtime friends in the states and new ones here…I am also so thankful to be living here (wow!), grateful for my health, to be able to travel…I feel very fortunate…”

From my journal: November 22, 2012 Newbury Park, California

“There’s so much to be thankful for…we are lucky to be Americans. We have so many freedoms, opportunities, and choices…we have the freedom to be, say, and do anything we want…not everyone is as fortunate.”

Over the decades, we’ve celebrated traditional Thanksgiving Days with my family in Massachusetts and Robert’s family in California. That meant savoring turkey with all the trimmings, football on TV, and family board games after dinner. Some Thanksgivings meant ski trips with Meghan, one of my best friends (and now sister-in-law!) and her brothers and uncle on chilly slopes in Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. And with each of our relocations, it meant finding ourselves gathered around a table with new faces in Oregon, Arizona, and London. While the people and places changed from time to time, what did not and has not, is what I was, and am still thankful for today. Family, friends, and that warm sense of belonging that embraces me within these circles and that expands farther out now that I’ve experienced more of life and the world we live in.

Meghan and me on the slopes in Taos, New Mexico

In celebration, I wanted to look beyond myself to find out what others had to say about Thanksgiving and about giving thanks. Some heart-warming, some humorous, all pay homage to my favorite holiday of the year!  Read on!

“Thanksgiving creates abundance.” – Ann Voskamp

“Thanksgiving is a joyous invitation to shower the world with love and gratitude.” – Amy Leigh Mercree

“Thanksgiving: Bringing out the best in family dysfunction since 1863.” – Unknown

“When I started to count my blessing, my whole life turned around.” – Willie Nelson

“When you give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.” – Maya Angelou

“The turkey. The sweet potatoes. The stuffing. The pumpkin pie. Is there anything else we can agree so vehemently about? I don’t think so.” – Nora Ephron

“The more you practice the art of thankfulness, the more you have to be thankful for.” – Norman Vincent Peale

“For those of you who cannot be with family this Thanksgiving, please resist the urge to brag.” – Andy Borowitz

“We may not have it all together, but together, we have it all.” – Anonymous

“Thanksgiving is a time of togetherness and gratitude.” – Nigel Hamilton

“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true meaning of Thanksgiving.” – W. T. Purkiser

“Thanksgiving, afterall, is a word of action.” – W. J. Cameron

“Be present in all things and thankful for all things.” – Maya Angelou

“I come from a family where gravy is a beverage.” – Erma Brombeck

“Thanksgiving – when the people who are most thankful are the ones who didn’t have to cook.” – Melanie White

“I’m just thankful I’m surrounded by good people.” – John Pardi

“Thanksgiving Day is a good day to recommit our energies to giving thanks and just giving.” – Amy Grant

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.“ – John F. Kennedy

“Forever on Thanksgiving the heart will find the pathway home.” – Wilbur D. Nesbit

“Reflect upon your present blessings.” – Charles Dickens

“Good mashed potatoes are one of the greatest luxuries of life.” – Lindsey Bareham

“A lot of Thanksgiving Days have been ruined by not carving the turkey in the kitchen.” – Kin Hubbard

“There’s always something to be thankful for on Thanksgiving.  Even if it’s just not being the turkey.” – Unknown

“An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day.” – Irv Kupcinet

“Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then they discover once a year is too often.” – Johnny Carson

“I love Thanksgiving because it’s a holiday that is centered around food and family, the two things that are of utmost importance to me.” – Marcus Samuelsson

Wishing you and your loved ones all the best this holiday!  And in the simple words of the beloved character Charlie Brown, “What if today, we were just grateful for everything.” It can’t be said any better than that.

3 thoughts on “Giving Thanks

  1. Love that photo of our Thanksgiving together! You were always the most fun on every family visit. I was just reflecting that you were to Ben and me what Evan and I try to be for Maddie and Finn. I had a good example to follow 🙂


  2. Such kind words, Lily! Spending time with you and Ben was the highlight of any family get together! So many wonderful memories!


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