The Attitude of Gratitude

Thanksgiving is a beautiful holiday that focuses on the simplicity of being grateful for what has been given to you.


Allen Butterfield

Laughing at the memories made this Friendsgiving. Good food and fun games are made better by even greater people.

Every fall when the leaves begin to change, the air grows a little crisper, and people a little jollier, my heart begins to lift a little. Now, I know that Christmas is right around the corner and that is truly what most people are looking forward to, but I for one enjoy the simplicity of the present. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Christmas and the whole idea of gift giving and decorating and showing kindness to strangers, but I don’t need all that to be thankful. I mean, that’s what gift giving is: showing love and appreciation for someone in the form of a present. But, I think the greatest present you can give anyone is your time. 

This is why I love Thanksgiving, ever so slightly, more than Christmas. There are no requirements of gifts, no materialistic items involved; just good old fashioned food and people joined together around a table. It used to be that sharing a meal with someone meant more than just eating. It meant that you had a connection with that person, a covenant, a bond of loyalty, communion. When you share in communion with one another, you are no longer just strangers around a table. You are thankful for their presence and the priceless gifts they bring to the table: laughter, love, peace, and friendship. These things can never be repaid or replaced in the form of tangible gifts. Only the presence of people, their words and their actions, can give thanks for these beautiful gifts.

Show gratitude in every area of your life because in every area your presence is valued and needed more than you know.”

— Kierigan McEvoy

Thanksgiving and presence go hand in hand. My challenge for you is to be present in this season, not longing for Christmas, but showing gratitude for the here and now. Because of the world we live in, I think sometimes we forget how blessed we are. It takes a flat tire or the washing machine breaking or running out of hot water in the shower or losing our keys for us to slow down. Often, when we slow down at these inconveniences, we express anger and annoyance. Instead, we should change our attitude to gratitude. We forget that these normal, everyday things we depend on are, in fact, blessings that not everyone else in the world possess. 

The “meat and potatoes” of what I am trying to say here is: spend time in communion with your family and friends, and acknowledge the little things in your life that you often take for granted. Have a Friendsgiving, a Teamsgiving, or even a Teachersgiving. Show gratitude in every area of your life because in every area your presence is valued and needed more than you know. Show gratitude to the things you often overlook, whether it is simple actions from other people or small normalities that you rely on every day for sanity.

So pass the potatoes, crack a joke, go around the table sharing out what you are most thankful for because we all have something to give thanks to. Take time this month to celebrate the act of gratitude best shared in a hug, smile, or laugh; not in a pretty red package.