I like big holidays. And I like celebrating them in a big way. Especially Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is different than other holidays in that it largely has escaped commercialization--except in supermarkets. The section for Thanksgiving cards in pharmacies and card stores is relatively small. There's no fat man sliding down the chimney to bring presents; there's no bunny hiding eggs in the living room. There's no barrage of commercials advertising things you just have to buy--except frozen turkeys.
So (if you can get past the food), it's the easiest holiday for us to remember the true meaning of; instead of the trappings, we can focus on the day as a reminder of all the blessings for which we should be thankful each and every day, yet all too often take for granted. And so I'd like to take this opportunity to express some of the things I'm thankful for this year:
I'm thankful for my husband, who is both my best friend and lover. For the past eight months, he has been here to share with me both good times and bad, to share my happiness and my sorrows. Every day he saves me from myself, by acting as a reminder of my priorities and of who I truly am, inside and out. And he helps me not to sweat the small stuff, to keep in mind what's truly important.
I'm thankful for my family, who has supported me through childhood and into adulthood. Our relationships may have changed, but they've strengthened, not lessened. My family has helped me become who I am today, both my relatives who are here and those who've gone. And while I miss those who've passed away, I am grateful for the chance to have known them and be touched by them.
I'm thankful for my friends: from church and work, as well as my Ya-Ya's. And now I can add many of my husband's friends, who have become my friends, too. They stayed with me through some tough times, supporting me when I couldn't stand alone. And they didn't hesitate to do it, even though it would have been easier for them not to.
And strange as it may be, I'm thankful for the hard lessons I've learned. There've been some very painful times, but without them, I would have learned neither my compassion, nor my perseverance. Those tough times have made me stronger, and have truly taught me how to love myself for who I truly am, flaws and all. And because of this, I can truly share my life with those I care about, rather than rely upon them for my happiness. This makes me a better daughter, wife, and friend.
May you all know how much I love and appreciate you, and how thankful I am to have you in my life. And may your Thanksgiving be a blessed one, too.