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Making a Habit of Giving Thanks

To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever taken the time on Thanksgiving to think about the blessings in my life.

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If I had to pick a favorite holiday, I’d have to go with Thanksgiving. Food, family and football are an unbeatable combination, in my book. Add the crisp fall weather to the mix – and the anticipation of the upcoming holiday season – and it truly is the most wonderful time of the year.

It’s only as I’ve gotten older that I’ve grown to appreciate the “giving-thanks” aspect of it.

To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever taken the time on Thanksgiving to think about the blessings in my life. Sure, we might say a prayer before digging in to the holiday feast. But the ritual of going around the table and having each person declare the things for which they’re thankful – well, that seems more like the stuff of TV families, not ours.

Even if the TV-family Thanksgiving ritual might feel a bit too corny and contrived for real life, it’s never too late to start giving thanks for all the good things in our lives. And we don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to do it!

The obvious place to start would be my family. We’re blessed with two healthy, happy and hilarious kids (a 2-year-old and a 1-year-old), and they’re surrounded by doting grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. In the craziness of our daily lives, we sometimes take these things for granted.

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I’m thankful we have a roof over our heads, and we have plenty to eat. Sure, these things might seem utterly basic. And indeed they are basic, fundamental needs. But we forget that nothing is guaranteed in life. For many people in this world, basic human needs – such as a safe place to live and access to clean water – aren’t certain, or even possible. We’re truly blessed.

Some people like to take their gratitude a step further and say, “Every day above ground is a good day.” I like that approach. You might even pat yourself on the back because you “woke up still not dead again today.” I can’t take credit for that one – that’s the name of a song by Willie Nelson. This line from the song always brings a smile to my face:

I woke up still not dead again today.

The internet said I had passed away.

Did you know that’s from an album that Willie released in 2017? I’m thankful that after all these years, Willie Nelson is still making music and playing live shows. And I’m thankful for music, and seeing the humor in life.

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Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that I’m thankful for our readers. Here’s to a safe and happy holiday season for all of you!

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