Giving Thanks

by Brie Stimson November 6, 2018


Thanksgiving cornucopia filled with pumpkins isolated on a white background

This is one of my favorite times of year. Fall always feels like a new beginning. The indulgences of the summer are but distant memories posted on our Instagrams and we are all in the process of starting anew, refreshed, focused and hopeful.

Thanksgiving is also a well-timed respite in what could be a dreary time of year. For many years, I was unable to afford to fly home for the holiday, but for the first time last year I did return. I managed as best as I could for those other years, but there’s nothing like being in Mom’s kitchen. I also like to think I add a little something to the dinner with the vegetarian dishes I’ve perfected over the last few years.

There’s an ambiance about Thanksgiving that I love. Growing up, I would always watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade while the smell of dressing, potato salad and pumpkin pie wafted down from the kitchen. Mom would always be in a sweat – she never really cooked except for Thanksgiving – but on that day she outdid herself. Many years it would have been snowing and various family members would trickle it into the entryway, beating their boots on the floor and rubbing their hands together to get warm as I would wait for them to shut the door to keep the cold wind out. Winters in Spokane, Washington are very real.

We would cook, laugh, drink and eat and finally as the white world outside started to turn blue, we would say goodbye and each person would head back through the snow to their homes.

Thanksgiving is a time for family and food, but as it says in its name, it’s also a time for giving thanks for the good things in your life. We all have strife, whether it’s personal, professional, family or health. We all struggle with different pains at different times. Life at times can seem almost impossible, the stress of everything too great. That’s why Thanksgiving is so wonderful. It’s a holiday meant specifically for reminding yourself that no matter how difficult things may seem, there are many things to be grateful for and good things to look forward to.

It may sound corny, but that old Bing Crosby song “Count Your Blessings” is pretty helpful in hard times. Life is hard and some days are worse than others, but I bet if you sit down at the table this Thanksgiving and take a moment to appreciate the fact that you have people in your life who love you, that you have a roof over your head, that you hopefully are in good health, you might just realize how lucky you are.

Soon, the pie will be eaten and the leftovers will be covered in saran wrap. Pumpkins, breezy winds and Black Friday sales will soon give way to colder weather, menorahs and Christmas lights – but even in the chilliest of weather (relatively speaking in San Diego) on the darkest of nights, never forget that you can always find the good if you look hard enough.


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