Little things: Thanksgiving & gratitude

I know this is a day late, but Happy Thanksgiving! I know Thanksgiving can seem like an odd holiday unless you grew up with it, but it really is my favourite. It’s just a great excuse to spend quality time with your family, eat delicious food, reflect on the good things happening in your life, and (hopefully) do good for others. Admittedly, it is a day of excess for me, but that’s not what it’s about, and the excess is kind of a weird way of celebrating that I am lucky enough to have plenty. That’s also why it’s always important to me to have friends come over to celebrate – I should really share what I do have. For me, there aren’t any particular rituals or routines that go with Thanksgiving, though I think generally Thanksgiving varies a lot between families.

The lead-up to Thanksgiving has been rough this year. My personal life’s great, but the news has been so upsetting that I actually cried while watching it last week. Reflecting on the good things in my life has made me even more conscious of how hard life may be for people around the world, and how little I do for others. I will do my best to fix that over the next year.

To end on a happier note, here are some of the things I am thankful for:

  • The fact that the flat we rent was on the market & didn’t sell. Very selfish of me! We’ll hopefully be moving soon anyway, but having it on the market & knowing we could be asked to move at any point was so stressful. We’re lucky to have a warm & dry home.
  • Being able to spend some time with Oma & the rest of my family (including Mom) in Germany. I didn’t spend time with them when I was growing up. Seeing them is always a treat, and I am really enjoying getting to know a whole different side of my family now that I live in the UK.
  • Amazing in-laws. In the absence of blood relations in the UK, it’s so important to have in-laws that I like, and I do! They’re awesome & make it clear over & over that I am family now. They’re also very generous, kind & easygoing.
  • Inspiring & supportive friends. I’ve been reflecting a lot about how people are influenced lately. When I stopped & looked at my friends, I realised just how amazing they are. They’ve all fought major battles & emerged victorious, but they don’t gloat about it. They have gained confidence & perspective, and I can honestly say that they shout about the issues that have affected them & are doing what they can to help those who are still battling. I guess issues don’t really go away, but it’s so good to see people helping others while they carry on fighting.
  • The patience to craft. I read this piece on patience the other day & it really struck home. The things I make aren’t brilliant, but I’m pleased I have the patience to sit down & make them.

More to come on the feast side of Thanksgiving soon! What are you grateful for this year?

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