I love Thanksgiving. In particular, I love the preparation for it, and the grateful, anticipatory feeling for the holiday time to come. It’s the time of year when we all make an extra effort to appreciate and share the good we find in each other, and in our daily lives.
I was thinking about that as I was making this corn wreath to hang on the old chimney in the dining room at the farm.
Wouldn’t it be nice to share and enjoy that feeling all throughout the year? I read somewhere that there’s actually some science that shows that giving gratitude can lift our spirits and make us happier. I know from my own experience reading a friend’s daily devotional posts that a little reminder to take a breath and be in that moment, not worrying about the next thing, helps to quickly offload some stress.
Seems like thanks giving might be a healthy habit to acquire! Not sure how many times a person needs to do something for it to become a habit. Thirteen, twenty-one, eighty-four, a couple hundred? I think I’ve heard all of those. Hmm, sixteen ears of corn on this wreath… I’m going to go with that to get me started.
So on this day before the official Thanksgiving Day, here are 16 things for which I’m grateful:
1. This colorful corn, and my husband, who helped me pick it. By hand. One. Ear. At a time. (That’s technically two things, so I guess it’s true that gratitude fosters abundance!)
2. The warm air that billows out pajama pants and warms toes when you stand over the register and look out over a frosty morning.
3. The memory of Grandpa standing over a giant kitchen floor grate enjoying the warm blast from the just stoked furnace, while my brother and I enjoyed candy, cookies and other treats that Grandma made.
4. The fact that our furnace doesn’t require stoking with big shovels full of coal!
5. A text from my dad with a pic from the tractor of a beautiful sunrise.
6. The lingering scent of Murphy’s oil soap in a freshly cleaned house.
7. The warmth and freshness of sheets from the dryer.
8. Recipes shared and messages back and forth with family and friends on what dish they are bringing to Thanksgiving dinner.
9. The two patient, pragmatic women, a generation ahead of me in life, and right behind me in the grocery store checkout line, who happily recalled the last turkeys they had roasted — one was 24 years ago, and who appreciated my full cart, truly glad that it wasn’t theirs and that they would not be responsible for “unloading all that” when they got home!
10. Friends who understand that this year, rather than accept their fun travel invitation for the weekend, my inner introvert needs to stay home, put up the tree, and watch Christmas movies.
11. The good wine those dear friends will bring to the week-night dinner I’ll make so we can still get together during the hectic holiday season.
12. Clean, clear glass on doors and windows.
13. The outside barn cat crew that makes the door glass dirty in the first place.
14. The pink nose, and the handsome gentleman it’s attached to, that will spot up the windows from the inside again in a matter of hours.
15. A quick nap under a warm quilt, and a purring feline, on a chilly fall day.
16. The family that will come through the farm house door on Thanksgiving Day — and who won’t care if the glass is covered in nose and paw prints.
It will be. And I pledge to be grateful for that too!
May we all enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving and share in the joyful habit of giving thanks for what life brings to our doorsteps each and every day.