When you think about it, it’s somewhat odd to choose one particular day of the year to express thankfulness.
An alien landing in modern America would wonder why we set aside an annual holiday based on solely on gratitude, rather than the usual celebrations over a key battle, national independence, religious event or celestial phenomenon. Yet we spend the fourth Thursday of November each year stuffing our faces with traditional delicacies, watching football and making a point of finding satisfaction in our imperfect lives.
Perhaps it’s that imperfection that lets us focus on those random points of shining light in a dark sky. Because, face it, little in this life comes easy. Even those of us with relatively comfortable lives can find flaws. The car that smelled so nice when you bought it is in the shop. The house you couldn’t wait to move into has a leaky roof. The dog who stole our heart with his little puppy paws just pooped on the carpet. And that job that pays the bills causes stress, which causes health problems ... and don’t get us started on the cost and hassle of health insurance.
And, of course, there are those without health, homes, cars or someone to cuddle with, for whom life is a more constant ordeal.
Yet no matter our lot in life, it’s good for us to aside our gripes and acknowledge the things that do go right, the people who make our days better and the small moments that make them worthwhile: A dazzling sunset, a well-told joke or clever Facebook video, a song on the radio that takes us back to high school, a cupcake or a cup of steaming coffee. It’s what keeps us going when the nonsense piles up around us.
This is why we happily set aside a full Day of Giving Thanks each year to remind ourselves that life is good and getting better all the time.
So to continue a long-running Thanksgiving Day tradition, members of The Times newsroom staff would like to share with you those things we’re thankful for this holiday:
A job I love and the people who help make it that way.
Netflix, for being my significant other.
Having one more full year before turning 30.
Dances in my living room with little ones, full of giggles and smiles.
Finally selling my house in Florida and finding a home to purchase in Gainesville. I’m a true Georgian now.
A mom who is both a best friend and an amazing role model.
Southern traditions and culture, y’all.
The lake, the mountains, the trees, the people — what’s not to like about Northeast Georgia?
People who are committed to love, compassion and forgiveness because they recognize the sainthood in all us sinners.
Eight dancing paws and two ecstatically wagging tails welcoming me home every day. And a family that’s finally only an hour and a half away.
The opportunity to move back home to Georgia after nearly six years in beautiful and boring central Alabama.
A church that has welcomed me with open arms and new friends who are open to all kinds of adventures. The chance to get paid to enter sporting events and tell the stories of the people behind them is a great privilege, so thanks for reading!
A community that cares.
A wife who loves me and puts up with me even when I don’t deserve it.
What he said.
Friends who are there when you need them, but also friends who need you to be there for them.
Finding my soulmate, though he’s far away. Friends and family that love me and all my crazy quirks. The opportunity to learn something new and fascinating every single day because information nowadays is always just a touch away. (Last sentence rhymes unintentionally.)
The opportunity to leave Virginia for a new job, have a fresh start with the love of my life and be closer to family.
I wish I could have said for the Vols to finally make it to a bowl, but I’ll have to wait until after Thanksgiving. Otherwise, thankful for family and friends but especially an ever-patient (with me, mainly) wife.
Reading the daily newspaper on a smartphone. Generations past should envy us for that reason alone.
The 45 words at the top of this page.
The choices, ideas, leaps of faith and opportunities I have made that have led me to this very point in time, in this exact place.
The cornbread dressing baking in the oven as we read this.
Three grown sons who still come home often — at least when they’re hungry — and one of their girlfriends who already treats us like family.
My physical and mental health, which I hope I will never take for granted.
And the hardworking souls in the newsroom are thankful you allow us to continue to tell the stories of this fascinating place we call home, every day. It’s always fresh, never boring, and it keeps us going. That and the coffee.
From all of us, to all of you, we wish you a blessed Thanksgiving Day.