Can you believe it is the week before Thanksgiving already? My sons used to quip that as soon as Mom’s birthday rolls around, that’s when the activity level picks up. Ok, I admit, I do love Thanksgiving and everything that goes with it. I love planning the menu, shopping for the turkey, and shining up the good silver and china. Then there’s my traditional blessings basket that I put out the first of November to remind me every day of something to be thankful for.

But this year, Thanksgiving is going to be a lot different. There will be several loved ones missing from the celebration and, in fact, I will not even be having Thanksgiving at my house. Now that is quite a change after all these years. Family members have passed on. Others have moved away. One has gotten married. It is easy to drift into a melancholic woe-is-me state.

And I know many of you have experienced the same types of losses this year. What are we to do to keep our joy during the holiday season?

First, we make a choice. Happiness, as I say in my book, is a choice. We choose what we focus on at any given moment in time. Refuse to dwell on sad things or what is missing in your life.  I choose to focus on my blessings. I am thankful my sons are independent and self-supporting. I guess they learned that from their mother. I am thankful I am at peace and content with my life. I am thankful that I have a roof over my head and a steady job.

Next,  I focus on how I can be a blessing to others and writing this blog is part of that gift I give to you. There are many ways we can give to others this holiday season: donations, food baskets, invitations to holiday festivities, even a cup of hot coffee or hot chocolate to that lonely person sitting on the bench. We never know what heartache someone else may be enduring.

This Thanksgiving, my prayer is that the Lord will comfort you, bring you peace, and surround you with His great love. If you are blessed with a happy family and plenty of loved ones, remember to reach out to someone who may not be so fortunate. If you find yourself alone, reach out and let your friends know so you don’t have to spend the holidays by yourself. Holidays are meant to be shared by all.

Until next time, Happy Thanksgiving and may the Lord bless you abundantly!

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