Hands down, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
There's no gift-giving, so I don't have to stress out about what to give people. There's no real religious connection to it, so everyone - Christians, Muslims, Jews, and atheists - can all celebrate it together and can give thanks to their own deity without trying to inflict it on someone else's. And while the holiday does coincide with the beginning of Christmas shopping, the day itself is still celebrated today for the same reasons as it was 400 years ago - to come together with family and friends and be grateful for all the blessings we have in life. And yes, there is a huge dinner, and there is football, and there is Black Friday, and there is Cyber Monday, which in PA is celebrated as the first day of deer hunting season, but when one comes right down to it, no matter what one's ethnic, religious, or cultural background, there is a day to celebrate all one has.
So this year, I am thankful that, when Hurricane Sandy blew through the area, that I didn't lose power, and that no one I knew was seriously injured, and that the rather large maple tree right in front of my house remained upright. I know that cannot be said about many other people.
I am thankful that I have a roof over my head and a job that pays me well enough that I don't have to worry about where my next meal is going to come from.
Even though many people would find my obsession with knitting weird and a fetish, I am thankful that I have the time and resources to have such a fetish.
I am thankful that my favorite baseball team strung together 96 wins and went to the playoffs after fourteen straight losing seasons, and that I was able to go and see them eight times this year.
I am thankful that I have family and friends who love me and understand my obsession with knitting and baseball and have never tried to convince me that I am weird in a bad way (I am weird, but hopefully not in a bad way.)
I am thankful that this past March, Earthling and I were able to spend a week in Ireland, and that I got to experience St. Patrick's Day in Dublin.
I am thankful that I was able to spend a few days in upstate New York this year at the sheep and wool festival.
I am thankful that I just finished a really great book called Enchantress from the Stars and have the time and the resources to read other books.
I am thankful that I live in a country where I can worship however I please, go wherever I please, and say whatever I please.
I could go on and on here, because there is SO MUCH that I have for which to be thankful. There are so many people out there for whom the same cannot be said. The fact that I was able to make such a list - I am thankful for that too.
What about you?