20 Things To Be Thankful For At Thanksgiving

GratitudeOkay, let me be clear about this. Thanksgiving is not “our” holiday. We weren’t brought up in America and even after many years here, it’s still a holiday we sort of observe from a distance, watching people cheerfully make plans for family get togethers and turkey trimmings.

Sometimes, we celebrate with friends who welcome us into their homes to join in on the holiday cheer (and eat oddities like sweet potatoes and marshmallow — yum, by the way). Often, we’re a little detached from it — we see how happy it makes people, but we end up enjoying a quiet day on the beach instead.

However, after a week of hearing GRATITUDE yelled at me in every email and Instagram post, I decided to  embrace the spirit of Thanksgiving (well, one interpretation of it, anyway) and ask myself what makes me feel grateful.

In addition to the obvious gratitude for food, shelter and good health, here’s what popped onto my gratitude list — maybe some of these are yours, too.

20 Things For Which I’m Thankful (in random order):

  1. Love.
  2. Water, in all its forms … rain, ice, ocean, lake, river, and even tears, especially when they are tears of laughter.
  3. A good book, and actually finding — no, MAKING — the time to read it.
  4. Puppies!
  5. Rainbows.
  6. Unicorns. No, not really, just threw that one in, as it seemed to naturally follow puppies and rainbows (However, I do have a secret wish that I could conjure up a unicorn as my patronus , and so I live in hope. Bring it on, Expecto Patronum).
  7. Hope, because without it, we’re screwed.
  8. Watching the moon rise (extra gratitude for when it’s a full moon).
  9. Mistakes, because once I’ve stopped muttering about how I won’t do that again, the mistake becomes a good learning experience so that (most of the time) I don’t do that again.
  10. Champagne. It’s the bubbles. And it’s a version of #2.
  11. A sense of humor. I guarantee that life looks different after you’ve had a good laugh.
  12. Yoga, because it brings more of #1, 5, 7, 11 and 15.
  13. Wifi. How on earth did we manage without it?
  14. Switching off Wifi and remembering and enjoying what we did without it.
  15. Random acts of kindness, especially from strangers, as it fosters feelings of hope for humanity (see #7).
  16. Nature, in any form. Watching it happen, being in it, being a guardian of it.
  17. Binge-watching. Especially binge-watching Game of Thrones with a friend who’s read all the books so she can explain why they’ve just killed off the character whose role you finally understood or who you adored on sight and thought would survive every beheading, disemboweling and throat-slitting.
  18. People who respect the apostrophe. Yes, it matters.
  19. Travel and the joy of exploring other cultures.
  20. My husband, and all the other people who love me, just the way I am.

Pooh-Piglet-GratitudeOne of the interesting things about making a list like this? I started off with “10 Things For Which I’m Thankful”, quickly expanded it to fifteen, accelerated to twenty, and then found myself feeling ridiculously thankful for a list that seemed endless. Positively cheerful that there are so many things for which I can feel grateful. Grinning and thankful almost to the point of combustion, skipping into the kitchen to start our holiday weekend.

There may be something in this Thanksgiving thing, after all.

Happy Thanksgiving!


9 thoughts on “20 Things To Be Thankful For At Thanksgiving”

    1. Okay, this is when you need #10 and a serious dose of #11! Thankfully, tomorrow is another day. Hugs to you for a tomorrow that includes more rainbows and unicorns.


  1. Aw Julie, you made me cry a little but good tears. It is a special time of year when you’re so grateful for so many things but sad that some of our most loved ones are not here and all we have are precious memories. I am so thankful to have my son here with his new girlfriend who makes him very happy,
    my husband and good friends who will be at my home to enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner together. It will be our last holiday dinner in this home that I’ve enjoyed for 22 years. Time to move on & into another home I love because I have memories of my parents being there. The water view isn’t bad either!! Julie, I love you & miss you!! Have a fabulous Thanksgiving & Happy & Healthy Holiday Season!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sondra, yes it’s a mix of happy-and-also-poignant, when we also think of the people who aren’t with us. I was a bit tearful myself, this morning, thinking exactly that, and then I started smiling at the beautiful memories I have of those who are no longer with us. All that’s left to do is honour their memories (that’s what keeps them alive) and throw yourself wholeheartedly into making new and happy memories, as you will be doing today and in your new home. Love to you, and keep that yoga practice going, once the moving dust has settled!


  2. Julie,
    Thank you so much for your inspirational Gratitude…it is so unique and so true…with humor [Black Friday? and don’t get me started either!]…I love the way you think…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Denise, thanks for reading and enjoying. And thank you for a year of getting to know you – such fun and joy for life!


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