Thanksgiving: A Time to Celebrate What We Have and Don’t Have

Some of us want what we don’t have and some of us have what we don’t want. We all have issues to complain about and we all have things we wished were different from what they really are. But, we all have things for which we can be grateful. Thanksgiving Day is the perfect time to reflect, appreciate and give thanks for our many blessings – disguised or not.

Thanksgiving Day is an occasion celebrated with a special meal and a prayer shared with family and friends. For most people, Thanksgiving is seen as a joyous traditional family celebration, for others it conjures up feelings of inadequacy, loneliness and emptiness especially for those who don’t have a “complete” family with whom to share the experience.

Single parents are especially vulnerable to a whirlwind of emotion during special holidays such as Thanksgiving. It reminds us of what we don’t have – a traditional family structure. But instead of living like the “have nots”, we can accept and enjoy what we have.

So what can we be thankful for? There’s plenty to appreciate about life. Let’s start with the bigger picture:

For most people, Thanksgiving is seen as a joyous traditional family celebration, for others it conjures up feelings of inadequacy, loneliness and emptiness especially for those who don’t have a “complete” family with whom to share the experience.

Our country:

We live in a relatively peaceful country. We can safely walk down the street without fear of being bombed or shot by militants. We may be burdened with heavy taxes because of unwise government spending, but Canada is a first class, wealthy, technologically advanced and relatively safe nation that has a good family support program.

Our city:

We live in one of the most desirable cities in the world. It may rain a lot, but that’s why the trees and the grass are greener. We have breathtaking scenery and many indoor and outdoor attractions for families to enjoy.

Our people:

We are blessed to be exposed to the multiculturalism and diversity of our city’s population. We learn about the world through the many cultures represented by our population and our children are blessed to experience different cultures celebrated at schools with multicultural days.

Closer to home, we have plenty to appreciate. So what should we think about when we say our prayer of thanksgiving? We should give thanks for what we have and don’t have:

Family and Kids:
  • Have: a family that loves unconditionally and kids who add so much value to life
  • Have not: a spouse who can add stress to your life Friends
  • Have: friends who are understanding and caring
  • Have not: friends who drain your energy
    Health
  • Have: kids who are healthy
  • Have not: symptoms of serious illness
    Talents, Skills and Job
  • Have: natural born talent in what you enjoy
  • Have not: A laborious job

Even the things you may complain about are a blessing in disguise. It’s the way we see our issues that make a difference in how we can begin to enjoy our lives and it is when we change our focus from negative to positive that we may live every day as a day of thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving!

Chanelle Dupre

Chanelle Dupre is a writer of parenting articles and was a single parent for 20 years to two sons now in their late 20's. She had a column in 3 newspapers and this blog is a curation of old and new stories around the challenges of single parenting and ideas on how to make life easier.

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