Giving Thanks With A Thankful Heart

Here's how I'm giving my thanks this Holiday season, with a thankful attitude of heart.

Vanessa Passo, Staff Writer

In the blink of an eye, November is already upon us. Christmas decorations hit the shelves even before the Thanksgiving turkey is served on dinner tables. For people like me, November stirs up a whirlwind of emotions; excitement, excitement and more excitement.

The abundance of food, the quality family time, the falling leaves, the pumpkin flavored goodies, the giving of spirit and gifts and the eventual holiday cheer are all many reasons to share elation with others.

Although my elation resides in many tangible items, I found myself appreciating many intangible things, especially as I grow older.

When I was an overly rambunctious child, who begged Santa for every and any newest toy, and also gave thanks for ‘the turkey’ and only that, the holidays were simply just a time for fun and joy and potential closing of school due to snow storms.

As years pass, I become less concerned with the materialism of the holiday season, from October through December, and start focusing primarily on moments among the seasons that I can’t hold in my hand or unwrap.

First and foremost, family is something I have grown to be a tremendous amount of grateful for. The saying ‘blood is thicker than water’ holds more than just a logical sense of truth. Family is there to support you, love you, and pick you up more so than other people in your life; at least mine never fails at doing so. I am so thankful for the people I come home to, and am fortunate to share my good and bad news with, in hopes for them to make my bad days good and my good days better. A heart is not a home without the ones who get you through the storm; call me Dr. Seuss or even Dr. Phil but I have learned to truly value the importance of the people who you are essentially stuck with for life. That unconditional regard for your well-being by your family members is incomparable at best. This holiday season, I will cherish the time I spend with them as our time together as a unit becomes less and less.

I owe a big, fat thank-you to the experiences I have lived through this year, and the 19 other years I have lived to see. I used to believe that only the good times and happy experiences I have lived through are the only ones to be thankful for, and remember. However, for as young as I still am, I truly am more thankful for the bad times, and the sorrowful, unfortunate experiences that have occurred. If not for these trying times, I would not be able to savour the happiness and the joyful moments that surround me. Bad times make good times even better, and I truly appreciate every tear shed, every heart broken, and every prayer I’ve sent up to the Big Man in hopes for a better tomorrow. Those times give me an appreciative outlook on life; a recognition that everything happens for a reason and happiness is something to fully recognize, appreciate, and enjoy when it’s occurring, no matter what form or size it presents itself.

Psychologically, without my basic needs being met, I would not even be able to thrive and grow as an individual towards love, affection, safety and security from family, happiness, and a sense of self. With that being said, I am extremely thankful for a roof over my head, food in my stomach, and water to quench my thirst. I am provided with the bear necessities in order to live a happy, healthy live, and I could not thank God more for that fact, alone. I believe these basic needs are often overlooked and taken for granted, but they truly are the gateway for a life full of happiness and well-being. To those who don’t get the needs we do not think twice about daily, the holidays are truly a time to take these things into a strong sense of appreciation because although to us they are normally, to many around the world they are scarce.

The holidays are a great time to put these things into perspective, especially around Thanksgiving. The food, shopping and celebration is a big enjoyment, but nothing beats the people around the table, the memories made, and the quality time spent with people who matter most.