By MONA K. WOOD
Thanks in Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving. We look forward to it for the turkey and pumpkin
pie, for being together with family and friends, for the promise of the festive
holiday season to come.
Well, I suppose that may be true for many of us, but also for
many, too many, that is just not reality — food may not be affordable, family
may be non-existent or estranged and the holidays become the most depressing
time of the year.
For those of us who are blessed with a home, food, family and
friends who love us should take a moment to truly appreciate them and do
something special for them on Thanksgiving — instead of just stuffing our
faces and playing couch potato. You can still do that, too.
Write each special person is a letter telling them why you are
so thankful this person is in your life. It may seem a little awkward if
you’re not used to doing something like this, but that’s just what will make
it special. It will be unexpected.
My boyfriend Max never fancied himself much of a writer, but
he wrote me a poem a while back that shared his feelings in a way he never
thought he could. He was hesitant to give it to me because he didn’t think it
was very good — and he probably thought I’d take my red pen out and start
correcting the grammar and spelling like I do for work.
Believe me, that poem was one of the most precious gifts he
ever gave me and will be treasured forever.
If writing is not your forte, then make, do or say something
special as a Thanksgiving gift. It doesn’t have to cost any money — just
your love. When I look at my own life, I never think of who bought me what, but
instead of the times my mom cared for me when she was sick, my dad carrying me
to bed and tucking me in when I was little, the friend who was there when my
heart was breaking, the kindnesses people showed me and the poem from Max.
And, while feeling so grateful for all you have, make a
commitment to do something to help the less fortunate this year. Volunteer,
donate, hold a hand, lend an ear, say a prayer — whatever you can do in your
So, to all those I love, thank you, mahalo, arigatoo, salamat,
fa’afetai, merci, kamsa hamnida, do jeh, gracias, obrigado. In any patois,
it is beautiful.
Mona K. Wood is a publicist and writer. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.