Make your Thanksgiving Day count…

November 28, 2013
Thanksgiving Day: a national holiday celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year;  prayer of thanks: a prayer that offers thanks to God.
This is the definition you will find when you look up the meaning of Thanksgiving. But this holiday is all this and more to me. It should be a special time when families should come together and count their blessings. Even in the hard times, you should still ban together, because family is all you have in this world that you can never replace, the good ones and yes, even the bad ones.
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There’s a saying about families:” When you shake our family tree, a bunch a nuts will fall out.” Well, this is true in any family. You can’t choose your family, they are God’s gift to you. You may not even like some of them, but there should be times you should be able to make allowances for them, and Thanksgiving is one of them.
 Many families have chosen to stop having family gatherings due to conflict in the family these days and I think this is huge mistake. Because how are you ever going to get past the conflict if you choose not to have any contact with them? People have blow-ups within the family all the time, and sometimes things are said in the heat of the moment that seem really terrible at the time. Which brings me to another saying, one of my favorites: “This too shall pass.”
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Ninety percent of the time, if you allow a little time to pass, things will eventually settle down and you can begin to make amends. No family is perfect, so don’t ever catch yourself looking at someone else’s and think “I wish I were in that family”. I assure you, that family has just as many problems as yours, if not more. They just may be better at hiding it.
Family gatherings are very special to me and we may have had our share of problems within ours, but at the end of the day, we all still love each other. And our family gatherings are priceless. We all truly enjoy one another. After stuffing our faces to the point of agony, we all sit and socialize, laughing and talking sometimes for hours. These are times I wouldn’t trade anything for, because you cannot put a price of this kind of fellowship.
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 So, as this Christmas season approaches, remember to reach out to those around you; the once close friends you have lost contact with, the neighbor across the street who is always there for you, and yes, even to those who have wronged you once considered your friend. Most especially, reach out to those who don’t have any family because the Holidays are a really hard time for them.
 Because here’s the thing about time, we never know when our time is going to run out and you may not have as much as you think to repair those bridges that were once burned. Many who have lost loved ones or were never able to repair friendships will tell that time can be your friend, or it can be your enemy and issues you think that are really important to you at this moment, are just not worth holding onto if you lose that person forever.
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Thanksgiving is just another day is you choose to see it this way. Or, you can choose to make the most of it, with family, friends, an abundant feast, good times and making memories to last a lifetime. Life is what you make it, my friend and you hold all the cards. You can make the choice to be happy, or you can be miserable, but it’s the latter part that is so exhausting. It takes more energy to hate someone than it does to love them.
So, if you have parted ways with your family on a bitter note, now is the time to patch up. It is common for families to have misunderstandings. However, it may be wrong to assume that your family no longer loves you. The bond of love runs deep, and conflicts can be resolved with trust and understanding. This Thanksgiving Day, extend an olive branch and talk peace.
When you walk away from your Thanksgiving feast this year, make sure that not only is your stomach full, but your heart is too. Count your blessings, but also be sure to make your blessings count. Remember, it’s not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them is a true measure of Thanksgiving.
Note: Last week, there was a sentence that went into my article about disability fraud that I meant to go back and change, or even take out. So, I retract the statement I made that read: “If you’re crazy enough to draw a check then you need to be locked up somewhere”.
 I am perfectly aware there are REAL people out there who suffer from mental disorders that struggle every day of their life. These are not the ones who my problem is with, it is the ones who CLAIM to have mental issues because they know this route is hard to prove in a medical sense of the word. These are people who can get out there and work as well you can, but they are lazy and have learned how to work the system.
 So, if this statement offended you, please accept my apologies. This was never my intention. Also, please remember, this is in fact, an editorial, which means these are strictly my opinions and you don’t have agree with them. There is no correct or incorrect method to use here. Whether you agree or disagree, the Voices page is here for you express your opinions. So, let’s hear from you…
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