Thanksgiving 2016: What Are You Thankful For? 

As its name suggests, Thanksgiving is a time to gather with friends and family and give thanks for what we have. It’s also a time for turkey, sweet potatoes, stuffing and pumpkin pie, though unfortunately the excitement over these seasonal foods often overshadows the real purpose of this holiday!

My family’s tradition is a simple one: we either cook a turkey dinner from scratch or order one from Summerhill Market in Toronto and spend the day talking and laughing as we share a delicious meal together. Today’s dinner from Summerhill was, as always, very tasty; dessert was a creamy cheesecake baked by yours truly (recipe courtesy of my aunt). I took pictures but was salivating (okay, drooling) in a most unladylike fashion at the sight of the meal and couldn’t spare the time to snap better ones.

I promise the food tasted better than it looks! (Side note: see what I meant about food overshadowing what this day is really about?)

Today was bright and sunny and we were able to bask in the sun, enjoying what were possibly the last rays of summer. Our family of 7 people has dwindled to 5 recently since my cousins are both at McGill University, so their absence was certainly felt today. As I enjoyed my family’s company and listened to their funny stories, I decided I was most thankful for two things. One: my wonderful, chaotic, supportive family. Two: the ability to physically and mentally enjoy life. There are so many people out there with mental and/or physical issues/disabilities, some who truly cannot find happiness or meaning in their lives, and seeing their struggles makes me feel so lucky to be alive and healthy. Then I look at the people who are able to prevent their personal or physical struggles from taking over their lives – e.g. former refugees or Paralympic athletes – and realize that they’re the ones who are really living. They’re finding their passions in life and giving it their all. More power to them!

As Thanksgiving comes to an end and the turkey dinner lulls us to sleep, I urge you to take thirty seconds to think of three things you’re thankful for (and maybe even a couple of ways you can give back). Jot those things down on a piece of paper and keep it somewhere where you’ll see it every day. Despite our daily hardships, we all have reasons to give thanks and I think we’d all live happier lives if we remembered them each day! 🙂

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