Thanksgiving. The name of the holiday explains its very purpose.
Each year, on the last Thursday of November, we come together to give thanks. It usually means a big, festive dinner complete with a gloriously-browned turkey and more sides than one could hope to eat in a month, let alone a day.
It usually means friends and families gathered together. It usually means a time of rejoicing.
We don’t have to remind you that things are different this year. We’ve been reminded of that every single day since the middle of March. All of our normal activities, celebrations, and events have been turned upside-down.
To some, it may be that 2020 offers little for which to be thankful. Millions have lost their jobs. Businesses have been closed, and many more are left to wonder how much longer they can hold on. We, as a country, have packed about as much turmoil into a calendar year as is normally contained in a decade.
Yet, having said all of that, and because of it, 2020 is a time for us to focus even more on the things for which we are grateful. It’s a year that should teach us to savor all the things we have, rather than dwell on what we may have lost.
Be thankful for your health. Many do not have the luxury of spending the holidays at home, away from hospital beds and probing medical staff. If you’re home and healthy during the holiday season, be grateful and never take it for granted.
Be thankful for your family. Yes, many will have to forgo their usual big holiday festivities — a serious sacrifice, to be sure. Oftentimes, the holidays are the only times in which relatives get to see one another, and no one is guaranteed a “next Thanksgiving.” But if your family is healthy and you’re able to connect with them, even via video streaming, be grateful. Many would give anything to speak with their loved ones again, even if over a Zoom chat.
Be thankful for all the people around us who have made this pandemic tolerable. Obviously, a special round of applause is due our doctors and nurses, the on-the-ground specialists who have fought every day to keep some very sick people alive, or assuage the concerns of those who have fortunately been not so sick. They are deserving of all our praise and admiration.
But never forget that “stay at home, stay safe” has primarily been made possible by the people who can’t stay home — the people who deliver our packages, who stock the shelves at the grocery store, the ones who put in long hours at meat packing plants or out in the fields of local farms. How much different would the world look right now if those people had stayed home?
Be thankful for small businesses and show that appreciation by putting your dollars back into the community. Get out there and show your support. Buy your holiday gifts locally. If you have the means, dine at one of Cheshire’s favorite restaurants once a week, whether that means ordering curbside pickup or going for a nice sit-down meal at an establishment doing everything right to keep patrons safe and healthy.
It’s been a tough 12 months. No one would dare deny that. But this Thanksgiving, don’t linger on what has been lost. Concentrate on what remains.