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Liz Rummel, Not Sarah

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As the last leaves fall and the lingering crisp chilly air fills our lungs, we know that autumn is almost over and winter is in our sights.  Yes, it is that time of the year again already!  The time when my favorite holiday emerges; Thanksgiving!

What started centuries ago as a day to be thankful for the harvest that many were blessed with, has remained the same for the most part.  However, it is now also a day where we see explosions of posts on social media from people expressing what they are thankful for, either in words or pictures with festive holiday filters.   It always amazing me how on one particular day of the year, the majority of people are looking inward at the blessings in their life and realizing the many things to be thankful for; things that seem so trivial most other days.

During Thanksgiving, we eat way too much food and later wish that we had wore our comfy pants to the table; you know which ones I’m talking about.  There is something about the food during this holiday that makes me continue eating, even after I am beyond full.  Plus, some of my all time favorite foods are included in the Thanksgiving feast, such as Turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry salad, and of course pumpkin pie!  What are some of your favorites?

Besides the food, Thanksgiving can bring families together during a special time, particularly family members that you may not typically get to see other times of the year.  That is something to be thankful for.  In addition, comes traditions.  While my family does not have any Thanksgiving traditions that immediately come to mind, I am sure that there are some that other families hold during this meaningful holiday.  For example, getting ready to put up the Christmas tree, watching football games on TV, and going through the massive stacks of shopping ads for Black Friday deals.  Whatever the tradition, memories are being made and families are coming together; so, to each their own.  However, not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving the way that seems so natural and customary to many of us.

According to Samuel Stebbins and Michael B. Sauter, who both write for the website 24/7 Wall St, besides the U.S., “9 other countries and territories . . . celebrate a version of Thanksgiving.”  Stebbins and Sauter further explain that Canada, Liberia, and Norfolk Island all celebrate Thanksgiving similar to the U.S.  The remaining six countries, which include: Germany, Grenada, China, Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam; celebrate the harvest, the gratitude, or both.  The holiday; however, is called something entirely different than Thanksgiving.

Being at Highland, we are immersed within a community full of diverse cultures.  Not everyone may celebrate Thanksgiving the same way you do or even celebrate it at all, but that does not mean they are not thankful for certain aspects of their life just as the next person.  Be thankful we live in a world where no one is the same.

On this Thanksgiving, whether you celebrate the holiday culturally or not, I encourage you to really look at what you are thankful for.  Bring on the social media filters, the endless carb-filled food, time with the family, crazy store shopping that will make you wish you stayed home, and of course the many blessings that you have been given throughout the year.  It really is that time of year again.  What are you thankful for?

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