Isn’t it great that the holiday season begins with Thanksgiving? There’s something good for the soul about pausing long enough to take stock of all that we have to be thankful for. And while I’ve mentioned the following idea before, I think it’s worth repeating. One of the best ways to remember all that we have to be thankful for is to use a “blessing box.” I learned of the idea from Bob and Jody, a couple I got to know while writing “Money, Purpose, Joy.” Throughout the year, whenever they experience some blessing, they write a note about it and put the note in a special box. On Thanksgiving, they read all of the notes out loud. Doing so reminds them and their children of the many ways, both big and small, that God provides for them.

While I love the holidays, they changed for me a few years ago when I lost my mom a week and a half before Christmas 2003 and my dad on the day after Thanksgiving 2004. Still, while the holidays will always remind me of their deaths, I am thankful to have had parents that I deeply loved and respected. And I’m thankful that their deaths did not come about suddenly; I had time to tell them again and again how much I loved them and to say good-bye. I know that not everyone who loses someone they love has those opportunities. So, this week, as many of us gather with friends or family, in the midst of the food and the football, let’s take a minute to tell the people we love how thankful we are for them.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

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