In yet another flurry of costumes, candy, and children scampering amok under the dim streetlamps, the spookiest night of the year has come and gone once again. The end of Halloween means that it is time for us Americans to celebrate one of our most beloved holidays- Thanksgiving. This special day gives us a chance to relax, spend time with our relatives, gorge ourselves with scrumptious food, and truly spend time thinking about all of our blessings.
In this hectic modern world, it can be tough to take the time to show our appreciation and realize how much we truly have. As human beings, it is only natural that we sometimes get caught up in the shallowness of our existence. We need that new iPhone, one bad grade is the end of the world, and our parents are absolutely evil for not permitting us to go to that party. Sound familiar? Luckily, Thanksgiving is a holiday that allows us to really look at the bigger picture and see how grateful we are for the simpler, yet far more important, things we possess. A loving family, faithful friends, a safe home, nourishing food, warm clothing, good health- the list goes on and on. Whether you have all of these things or even just one, there is always something you can find to be grateful for.
When you think of these simple blessings that are frequently overlooked, you are able to understand what the true meaning of Thanksgiving really is. There will always be someone less fortunate than yourself, so whenever you start to feel down, think of the basic things in your life that someone else might not have. Sure, we all love Thanksgiving for its fun traditions- some of my favorites include filling my belly with my mum’s mouthwatering cooking (who could pass up stuffing, sweet potato casserole, or cranberry sauce?), watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and spending the crisp, clear fall morning running my city’s annual “Gobble Jog”- but our most important custom should be taking the time to fill our hearts with love and thankfulness. My family does this through a mealtime prayer, during which we each list what we are most grateful for. Volunteering in your community is a wonderful way to channel your gratitude into something kind and productive- try bonding with your family while serving meals at a local soup kitchen this holiday season to reach out to those less privileged than you.
Although you don’t get to eat turkey and pumpkin pie or watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving every day of your life, you should treat every single day like Thanksgiving in that you remind yourself of your blessings and give others the gift of your time, talents, or love. In the words of the wise, successful Oprah Winfrey, “Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.”