• Karen Heckman Stork

Thanksgiving Gratitude

Quote of the day: Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others. — Cicero

It’s that Thanksgiving time of year again, a time that should remind us, as the word itself implies, to give thanks forl our blessings.

I certainly hope that most of us do not wait until Thanksgiving each year to express our gratitude for what we are blessed to have in our lives — families, friends, love, food to satisfy our hunger, a home where we can lay our heads, clothes to keep us warm. And I hope we do not wait for the holiday season to “pay it forward” and assist those less fortunate however we can, with whatever we have, wherever we are.

Earlier this year I began a new tradition to help remind me to be grateful when some blessing appears in my life. When this happens, I record the occurrence on a piece of paper and put it in my “Good Things” jar for 2017. Then on New Years Eve, I will dump out all the pieces of paper and review all the good things that happened to me and give thanks to God for every blessing I have received this year.

Right now, I am grateful to be able to fly to Virginia to spend Thanksgiving with my daughter, son-in-law and two grown grandchildren. As the grandkids have grown up and are following their separate paths, it is a very special time when we all can be together around the Thanksgiving table. I am filled with joy and gratitude to be with my family for this holiday.

And this year, because we won’t all be together again for Christmas, we shall begin our Christmas celebration almost as soon as the Thanksgiving dinner is completed. The dinner will be a combination of dishes from the past and from current and some absent family members. It will include my Mom’s (and actually my German from Russia grandmother’s) raisin stuffing. My daughter and son-in-law make that dish so much better than I ever could. We will have the usual green bean casserole and perhaps marshmallow-covered sweet potatoes (though I’m usually the only one who eats them), along with my own cranberry recipe (which, I confess, is simply mixing together a can of whole and a can of jellied cranberries). Yum!

May you all enjoy a joyous Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, food and, most especially, gratitude.

NOTE: My next blog will not appear until December 1.

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