I have been faithfully noting my daily gratitude in my journal as so many do during the month of November. In looking back at my entries, aside from the daily notes of thankfulness, this has been a tough month mentally for me. Nothing major or dramatic – just the daily stressors of life combined with the state of the world. Ya know, the usual. Nevertheless I continue to try to be grateful and aware of how fortunate I, and those I love, are. That said, I have a few observations on this day of Thanksgiving…

I am thankful that people are beginning to acknowledge the factual history of Thanksgiving. I have been struggling with the simplification and myths around the origins of Thanksgiving as a holiday and have endeavored to educate myself somewhat on how the continued caricaturization of “Pilgrims and Indians” affects indigenous people. I hope that more people will become interested in learning and appreciating the culture of those who were displaced by colonization rather than whitewashing events to fit a narrative.

Although never a big Black Friday shopper myself, I’m glad the the tide seems to have turned since the onset of the pandemic and that many retailers are no longer forcing their employees to work on Thanksgiving Day. I quit my last retail job several years ago when the store I worked at began implementing an open Thanksgiving Day policy. I suppose that is one tiny silver lining in the Covid world. Also – shop small when you can! I confess I do my share of online shopping at major retailers, but I also try throughout the year to patronize small businesses, especially for gifts.

I am glad that our entire family are Christmas decorating afficianados! While controversial for many, we have gradually started earlier and earlier until we have now joined the ranks of those who decorate for Christmas BEFORE Turkey Day. It doesn’t take away from my gratitude or thankfulness at all…it just takes so dang long to get all of our decorating done, we have to start really early!

I am thankful for memories and for grace. I read a post just yesterday that grief and gratitude can coexist. That can be grief over family and friends who are no longer with us, grief over the pain and suffering of others (or ourselves), or grief over the past, whether it is long past actions that affected millions of people, or actions and decisions in our own past that affected those we love.

In any case, the big day is here…and I have to go deal with 17 pounds of raw poultry that surely wishes to cause me harm. May you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Karri Temple Brackett
November 25, 2021

My List of Daily Gratitude for Thanksgiving 2021

I am thankful…

  1. For my father and that I had him in my life for as long as I did (on All Saints Day)
  2. For vaccines and the ability to access them.
  3. For downtime in the evening to cross stitch
  4. For musical theatre (saw the Sound of Music)
  5. For our Saturday nights at my mom’s house
  6. For a family that loves the holidays
  7. For carryout nights that I don’t have to cook
  8. For time with one of my girls watching a movie
  9. For my hubby and support system when I am overwhelmed
  10. For music (UCA trombone choir)
  11. For baking shows and Jeopardy with my other daughter
  12. For a day at home
  13. For extended family even though we don’t see them much anymore
  14. For a productive day where I cooked dinner even though I didn’t want to!
  15. For all my family living in the same area, including all the college girls
  16. For being aware of my own mental health
  17. For podcasts to help me understand things I might not normally think about
  18. For finishing the decorating!
  19. For hubby’s negative Covid test
  20. For naps and days off
  21. For the beauty of autumn
  22. For the awareness that I need to slow down and appreciate the little things
  23. For time decorating our office with my coworker
  24. For being organized enough to complete Thanksgiving prep with less stress!
  25. For a quiet morning with time to think and reflect before the chaos begins

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