Thanksgiving and Gratitude

November is winding down already and Thanksgiving is upon  us. In other words, ready or not, the holidays are here!

I’ve always been a big fan of Thanksgiving for many reasons. I love the laid back attitude, well unless you’re the cook. I love the time of year. I love the memories of my mom and dad’s team effort to “get the bird in the oven.” I love the sense of family. I love the time set aside to just “be thankful.” And of course, I love the food and eating it with no guilt for at least one day until the leftovers are gone.

As an elementary teacher, Thanksgiving also offered numerous and enticing seasonal opportunities for fun and learning. And then, there were all those projects.

Kids love Thanksgiving projects. So do teachers, or at least this one does. Kids love making pilgrim hats, coloring in cornucopias, preparing and eating mini-feasts, writing and acting out stories about that first Thanksgiving, listing out all things they are thankful for and of course making anything “turkey.”  


How many times has your child, or someone else’s child, proudly shown you a drawing of their hand with those five things he or she is thankful for thoughtfully and carefully printed in on each “finger-feather?”

And young kids are amazingly adept at cutting to the chase to honestly and concisely list five things they are most thankful for. Usually they end up listing things like family, friends, pets, air, food, water, nature; you know, the basic stuff.

Like I always say, kids are so smart.

Recently I was sorting through some boxes and found a few of my kids’ old turkey projects. It made me stop and wonder if I could come up with just five things I’m most thankful for.

After some consideration, this is my list of five things for my “turkey hand:”

  • I’m thankful for my home, family and friends. This includes my entire extended family, my on-line friends and of course, all family pets too.
  • I’m thankful for all of my senses that enable me to enjoy life more fully every single day. Here I get to include anything and everything I enjoy seeing, hearing, tasting, touching and smelling every day. I know this might be cheating a little to be so encompassing, but hey, it’s my list.
  • I’m thankful for science and all things medical, otherwise I might not even be here today.
  • I’m thankful for any and all who read my blog, so if you’re reading, I’m thankful for you!
  • Lastly, I’m thankful for being alive because, well, without that there’s no need for a list is there?

                                                                                               via Catherine at Bumpy Boobs                                              

So that’s my list.

What’s on yours?


                        Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

What are you most thankful for?

What will you do for Thanksgiving?

What do you like about Thanksgiving?

18 thoughts to “Thanksgiving and Gratitude”

  1. Nancy,

    I love this posting. Thanksgiving happens to be my very favorite holiday. And the Thanksgiving turkey traced over the fingers of my little one is still fresh in my mind.

    I’m thankful for so many things: the love of good friends and family, my cats, my daughter, being alive, my doctors, and a terrific online community — just a few.
    And I’m very grateful we crossed paths, and that I’ve had the pleasure of being an avid reader of your blog!

    1. Beth, Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday too. There’s just something really special about it. Your daughter will undoubtedly delight you with many more turkey projects in years to come. I’m grateful our paths crossed to, Beth. Thanks for your kind comments and for sharing a few things you’re thankful for. Hope your holiday is lovely.

  2. For me thanksgiving is all about family – and I’m incredibly thankful for mine. They are not just my support group, they’re also my friends.

    Happy thanksgiving, Nancy!

    1. Catherine, It’s always nice when you can count your family as your friends too isn’t it? I’m glad your family has been such a wonderful support group for you. Thanks for commenting and for allowing me to share your ‘I’m Alive’ creation. I really like it.

  3. Lovely post, Nancy. You must have been an awesome teacher. My list is long, but I’ll just say I’m thankful for my family and friends, low tumor markers and one amazing online support community. Thank you for being apart of it. Have a fantastic Thanksgiving!!

    1. Stacey, It is tough to narrow one’s list down to five things isn’t it? Thanks for sharing and for being part of my online support group, Stacey. I’m grateful for ‘meeting’ so many great people like you. Hope your TG is wonderful too!

  4. Nancy, such a great post! I enjoy reading your blog and all that you share. It sounds like you were a wonderful teacher who did very special activities with your students . . . I’m sure they loved you!

    This is my list for my “turkey hand:”
    1. I am grateful for my very special family and wonderful friends who are always there for me offering their support, encouragement, and love.
    2. I am grateful for my doctors, my home health nurse, and my caregivers who give me exceptional care and who are always there for me.
    3. I am grateful for the medical technology that keeps me alive and the medical equipment that gives me independence so that I can enjoy each and every day to the fullest.
    4. I am grateful for the great quality of life that I have despite the limitations that are imposed upon me.
    5. I am grateful to have two wonderful dogs and a special cat who bring me so much joy.

    Thanks, Nancy, for the post and the prompting to share what we are most thankful for in our life. I have been truly blessed and it is always nice to reflect on those blessings.

    I hope you and your family have a wonderful and very special Thanksgiving.


    1. Brenda, Thank you for your very kind words. It’s nice to hear you are enjoying my blog. Sometimes one wonders who’s reading and what they are thinking… Thank you, too, for sharing your list. I notice we have some similar things listed! My TG this year will be quieter than usual, but I still plan to really enjoy it. I hope you enjoy yours as well and thank you so much for sharing, Brenda.

  5. Hi Nancy, as you know we don’t have thanksgiving over here in the UK… but I’m thankful for the online community of bloggers and friends I have. Including you.
    Best, Sarah
    PS Enjoy the holiday!

    1. Being Sarah, Yes, I realize everyone isn’t celebrating TG like we are over here in the US. I wonder how many countries do have a day with such a designation actually… I know Canada does. Thanks for commenting. I’m very grateful for your friendship as well, Sarah. Hope you are healing well.

  6. This year I am thankful to be alive. You just can’t know how big this is. This is the first year since diagnosis (in 2008) that I have felt this way. In 2008 at this time I was still going through chemo, had just attended th funerals of 2 special friends who died of cancer and had unrelenting pain leftover from surgery.
    The next two years were full of procedures and medications trying to diagnose and treat that same pain. As it turns out, those medications were causing a deep (suicidal) depression. I thought it was me. As soon as the medication was stopped, the depression lifted.
    This year I stopped the Tamoxifen too, and now I am back to myself. Yes I still have the constant pain, but by using a topocal cream it is tolerable. But now I have mind back and my life.
    This year I am truly glad to be alive.
    Thanks for writing, Nancy. Have a great Thanksgiving!

    1. Dianne, I’m sorry you have had such a difficult past few years. I’m so glad you made important decisions about your medications and have found something else that works reasonably well for you instead. It must be great to feel like your old self again and as you said, have your life back. I’m very happy for you. Thank you for sharing, Dianne. My best.

  7. Love your blog. I miss my father, mother, one sister and a brother. I am thankful to the good Lord up above for letting me be cancer free and having my gifts that he gave me and for my 16 grand kids.

    1. Connie, Thank you for saying you love my blog, that means a lot to me. I’m sorry for the losses you mention. I hope you have many happy memories of those loved ones to think about during the holidays. Thanks for sharing a few things you are thankful for. Enjoy those grand kids! And thanks for reading my blog.

  8. Well we celebrate Thanksgiving in October. Ours is based on the final harvest in Canada. However that being said. I love the way my American neighbours celebrate. The preparation the food and family. In fact I had posted a blog on this the other day..
    But if I were to say what I am grateful for it would be my friends who support me in some of my most difficult moments.. My son who has been a joy to me over the years. A good cup of coffee.
    Nancy your blog is one of the first I read because there is always something interesting going on..

    Happy Thanksgiving !!

    1. Alli, Thanksgiving is a pretty big deal in the US, that’s for sure. I’m with you on that good cup of coffee. Sometimes it’s the little things that mean a lot too isn’t it? I’m glad you have people you can count on, Alli. Everybody needs at least one person to lean on when things get tough. Thank you so much for commenting and for saying such a nice thing about my blog. I always look forward to reading yours as well.

  9. Even with the crazy shopping season starting, the strangers I pass out and about seem to have a calmer energy than usual around Thanksgiving. That’s good to see. I’m sure it’s because people give themselves permission to take some time off from work (for once!) and they get to relax and spend time with family or maybe do the things they love and normally don’t make time for.

    I am thankful for my family and friends of course. I am also thankful for being healthy and for the freedom to live my life the way I want to live it.

    1. Lindsay, That’s an interesting observation. I think you’re right that people might give themselves permission at this time of year to take some time off from work. The holidays allow people to focus a bit less on work and more on family and that’s a good thing for sure. Thanks for sharing what you’re thankful for. We missed you at TG!

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