Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. The other ones are weird religious inventions or consumerized hijackings of religious inventions. And sure, the origins of thanksgiving are a bit murky, but it’s hard to argue with such a simple holiday: spend some time with your family and/or friends, and be thankful.
I especially like that it’s about appreciating what we already have, taking a break from the distraction of every day life, and thinking about all of the good things that make it up.
Today, as I spend time with some of them, I’ve been thinking about how thankful I am for my family. I’ve always gotten along really well with my family, but since most of them were around by the time I was born, I’m sure I have a tendency to take them for granted. As a kid I always just assumed that everyone had a great family and that their family was behind them supporting them all the time. Then, as I grew up, I saw situations where that wasn’t the case, and I realized how good I have it.
I have three fantastic siblings, any or all of whom I enjoy spending unlimited time with. We each live in different cities now, but when we’re together it’s like we’re best friends. Besides a scuffle over a plastic ninja sword as a kid, I can’t think of a single fight I’ve had with any of them.
As my siblings have grown up to become three extremely capable and independent individuals, each completely different, I’ve become increasingly awed by my parents. I have no idea how they did such an amazing job as parents, supporting everyone and pushing them in a positive direction, yet leaving room for individuality to sprout. It’s intimidating, actually, because I’ll be a parent some day, and they’ve set the bar high.
My parents divorced a couple years back, and both remarried. That process often ends in disaster, but both of them picked great new spouses, so the family I was already so grateful to have expanded to be even better. I go on a lot of trips every year, but some of my favorites are low-key ones where I visit my parents and step parents.
And really, my immediate family is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m close with cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents as well, each of whom I’m immeasurably thankful to have in my life.
I was having breakfast a couple months ago with a good friend, who isn’t as close with her family. She told me that she felt like she had made her own family out of her friends. And at that moment, I realized that, including her, I was doubly lucky to have a family of amazing friends. The purpose of a family is to have a group of people who are unconditionally rooting for you, love you, and are always on your team. That’s how I feel about my friends, too.
Anyway, what I’m most thankful for today is my family, from my parents and siblings all the way to my friends. It’s easy to take full credit for all of the great things that happen in my life, but I know that all of those things were primarily made possible because I’ve always had the support and love of my family.
So, happy thanksgiving, and here’s hoping you have a lot to be thankful for as well, and that you got a chance to stop and reflect on those things.
Photo is an amazing banner my step-niece made. You might be surprised to learn that she didn’t need any help on the spelling.
Very thankful to have you as a reader, as well!