As I have mentioned before, Thanksgiving is not a holiday that is usually ‘celebrated’ in Europe. Well, we have something called Erntedankfest (“harvest festival of thanks”), which is often celebrated on the first Sunday in October, but it’s primarily a rural and religious celebration.There isn’t an official national Thanksgiving holiday on a particular day as in the U.S. and there are no big family gatherings. And there is no Black Friday (but that’s a post for another day entirely). What I really wanted to say here is that I’ve very much come to love the (American) Thanksgiving holiday and I fully embrace its focus on gratitude for family, friends, delicious food and all the other good things in one’s life (I am sure it doesn’t come as a surprise that I have already baked a sweet bread and chocolate chip oatmeal cookies before 11 a.m. – am I doing this holiday right, or what? ;)).
Today I am thankful for my sweet husband. He always knows how to make me smile after a bad day.
I am thankful for my supportive, loving family (only an ocean away). I am thankful for my ‘little’ sister who is not only my sister, but my best friend. I am thankful for my cousin, who is like a little brother to me. I am thankful for a wonderful niece, two nephews and my godson. It’s unimaginable to think that those little human beings haven’t even been around that long, but it feels like they have always been part of my life.
I am thankful for wonderful friends, both the ones in real life and all the lovely people I’ve met online, the ones I’ve known for a long time and the ones I am just slowly getting to know. I am thankful for friends near and far who know and understand me, who always find the right words (or no words at all) in any given situation, who I can turn to when I need advice. I am thankful for how they make me feel loved and appreciated.
I am thankful for visits at home and quality time with the people that mean the world to me. I am thankful for the precious time I am going to spend with my great-aunt, who is 90 years old and still hanging in there (she still lives by herself!). I am thankful to be able to be part of our holiday traditions this year, to visit the Christmas markets with J, and to celebrate the New Year with everyone. I am thankful for a safe and cozy home and good food.
I am thankful for technology, the way it has made communication with people far, far away so much easier. I am thankful for Skype dates with family and friends in Germany, I am thankful for my iPhone as it allows me to be in touch so much easier with everyone. I am also still thankful for the occasional handwritten card or letter in my mailbox. Those still make my day!
I am thankful for a great job, fun co-workers, and a really laid-back boss. I am thankful that I can come to work in jeans and sneakers, that my hours are flexible and that I always challenged by new projects. I am thankful that my job is both fun and meaningful (and that it pays my bills).
I am thankful for hot coffee, fuzzy socks, a comfortable couch, and warm blankets. I am thankful for balls of yarn, stamps and paper. I am thankful for good movies, great music, and interesting books. I am thankful for snow, for red cheeks, for winter boots, scarves and mittens. I am thankful for a long weekend, time to myself, and a steaming pot of tea. I am thankful for good health and long walks in the crisp winter air.
I am thankful for opportunities to learn and grow. I am thankful for situations that test my patience and temper. I am thankful for ‘aha’-moments and the ability to move on. I am thankful for challenges and accomplishments.
And last but not least, I am thankful for each and every one of you, my lovely readers, who take time out of your busy days to stop by here. I am thankful for your encouraging comments and heart-felt “me, too’s”. I am thankful for your friendship, support, and your kind words. For someone like me, who lives so far away from family and IRL friends, this community that spans across the globe, is truly an amazing blessing.
What are you thankful for today?
Happy Thanksgiving, lovelies!