America has a long Thanksgiving history; so long in fact that Thanksgiving was celebrated long before America was even a nation. The idea is not of “American” origin, obviously, but rather, something that has been a tradition across the world for various reasons during various times.
Before everyone jumps on the express train of consumerism that has become Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I want to take a breather to consider all the things I am grateful for.
7 Things We Are Thankful For This Thanksgiving
- Family and Friends – Thanksgiving is very much a holiday for celebrating family and close friends. The big plans we make will never go 100% according to plan. If we can accept that, it becomes much easier to relax and appreciate those you have in your life… even if they did ruin your Thanksgiving dinner.
- Meal Preparation – For many, including many of us at the Pediatric Dental Assistant School, preparing Thanksgiving dinner is just as much about the journey as the destination. Through the chaos of too many people in the house, not enough table space, and the turkey not fitting in the roasting pan, we are able to stay connected through the process itself (even if we do wind up eating at Denny’s).
- Holiday Decorations – Unless you jumped the gun, Thanksgiving is basically the official start date to the Christmas countdown. People wrap presents, cut down trees from outside and put them inside, and lights brighten up the cold, wintery nights.
- Entertainment – Thanksgiving is a season of themed entertainment that begins with parades and football and ends with champagne and fireworks. January really needs to step up its game.
- Our Careers – Not everybody gets to do what they love. We are lucky to get to work with children in a career we love. While we are grateful for that privilege, we also give thanks to those whose hard and dangerous work afford us that opportunity.
- Good Health – It is easy to give lip service to good health. If you gave two people a gift, and one person simply said “thanks” and left it in the basement and the other used that gift every day, who would you consider more grateful? Make a list of all that your health has done for you this year, in terms of experiences, feelings, and creations. Then, once you have been sufficiently humbled, you can throw it out the window for a day and eat like the sun is going to go supernova tomorrow.
- The Feast – Good food is part of the human experience. The great thing about a holiday that celebrates the fall harvest is that it comes standard with piles of delicious food. We all have a favorite recipe, such as Mike Ford’s Famous Two-Squash Soup we love to enjoy and share on this holiday.
Gratitude Enriches Your Life
No other force will help you live a better and more authentic life than gratitude. Even if only for a day or two, this year, practice being content and pleased with everything that you have. It will help you find peace and joy in your life, and you may find a greater purpose in what you do.
~ Dr. Rhea Haugseth