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thanksgivingWhen I was young, I hated Thanksgiving. I mean, I loved the time off school, but I felt like I was celebrating a huge deception. The Native Americans saved the European colonists, and in exchange, we took everything from them.

Truth be told, it still bothers me.

But as I grow older, I grow more nostalgic, and with that feeling comes warm memories. I think back to the wonderful meals shared with my large, extended family. I think about Black Friday shopping trips (which I’ve since sworn off forever). I think about the marathon Christmas cookie baking session the women in my family would embark on together that Saturday. I think about the gifts to my children (always an ornament for their trees) and decorating the house for Christmas before school started back up.

Sure, I could dwell on the negatives, but why bother? I can’t change any of it. None of it was even my fault or responsibility. And honestly, I’m too old to wallow in sadness when I consider how few joyous occasions I may have left. I mean, I’m not at death’s door (at least, I hope not), but middle age has made me reassess a few things. Not the least of which is my attitude.

Thanksgiving 2016This year, a young man from Peru joined us for Thanksgiving. It was the first time I hosted a non-family member for a holiday. And it was his first Thanksgiving ever—talk about pressure! I wanted to be sure he had a wonderful time, and I obsessed over the house, the décor, the menu.

Silly, really, when you think about it. He had nothing to compare it to, and he was just glad to have something to do for his college break and spend the time with a friend or two.

Long story short, we all had a great time. The stress was totally unwarranted.

Which brings me to my point.

The year may not have gone the way you wanted. I know my year didn’t. But regardless, I’m grateful. I’m grateful for my family, and I love them beyond measure. I’m thankful for my friends, especially because they put up with me through thick and thin. I’m grateful for my publisher, who got more of my work released this year than ever before. And I’m grateful to you, for sharing even a few moments of your day with me now and again when I manage to get a post published.

So, other than any marketing announcements that need to go out before the new year (I may have one or two, wink-wink), I think I’m about done with posts for 2016. It’s been my profound pleasure, and I look forward to seeing you in 2017. Happy holidays!