I love Thanksgiving, and I really like to make it a big deal. There are really so many great things about it. There is the food, of course; the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the best part of which, in my opinion, is the Radio City Rockettes; you can start listening to Christmas music and no one will yell at you; you get a couple of days to hang out with your family or neighbors or close friends; there's usually an awesome movie released that weekend; and everything goes on sale in the stores so you can save money on your Christmas shopping! But of course, what I really love most about it is the way it gives me an opportunity to really think about the things that I am grateful for. This year I found myself giving an internal "thank you" for really small, simple things in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Some were maybe even silly, but it was good for me to find something new to be thankful for every day - or several times each day.
Here are just a few of the things I found myself grateful for this Thanksgiving weekend:
- Aunt Elaine’s Recipe Book: Best. Rolls. Ever. (And I finally learned to make them, thanks to my mom!)
- The Internet: Source of all the recipes we didn’t have on hand or couldn’t find or had forgotten. This year I found probably my favorite cranberry sauce recipe to date as well as a sweet potato soufflé recipe, which I made from fresh sweet potatoes, that was a favorite at the Thanksgiving table.
- Time-and-a-half pay, so that there is at least one very positive aspect of having to work at Old Navy on Thanksgiving Day.
- Our DVR, which allowed me to record the parade so that I didn’t miss seeing the Rockettes even though I was at work.
- The Hansons, our awesome neighbors and long-time friends who joined us for dinner and brought a yummy relish tray (which is one of my favorite parts of the meal) and even joined in on some Harry Potter talk!
- Movie theaters that are open on Thanksgiving and show great movies like Tangled so that my family and I can enjoy some quality entertainment together. (Also, Disney, because basically everything they do is just absolutely remarkable!)
- Visits from my cousin Tanell and her husband, Davinn. It was great to see you, even though I had to go to bed early and we didn’t get to practice our usual tradition of playing card games all night long.
- Old Navy opening at midnight for Black Friday and scheduling me to work from 11:45 PM – 7:15 AM so that I could spend the greater part of the day visiting with . . .
- My Dad; his wife, Kim; and my stepbrother, Connor. They live in Nevada and I hadn’t seen them in probably a year so I was excited that they came for a visit. My siblings and I spent the afternoon and evening with them on Friday, hanging out and catching up and bowling really low scores and having a great time. Thanks for everything, Dad and Kim! It was great to see you!
- And in general, and I hope it doesn’t seem trite, I do want to express my gratitude for my family, who love me and take care of me and put up with all my crazy; for my friends who do the same, whether they are here in Logan or in Ogden or Bountiful or San Francisco or anywhere else on this beautiful Earth; for the beautiful home and neighborhood and valley and country in which I live; for my brother far away in Hawaii for being an example and a source of strength for our family, and for willingly sacrificing to serve our country (that goes for you too, Dad); for my talents and abilities and the opportunities I have to do the things that bring me joy; for my knowledge of the Gospel, the love that my Heavenly Father and the Savior have for me, eternal families, repentance and forgiveness, inspired Priesthood leaders, scriptures, and hymns. I know that everything that I have has been given to me by my loving Father in Heaven and I am so grateful every day for all these things and so many more. THANK YOU.