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    • I am not a fan of holidays, to be honest. Hardly any of the holidays are celebrated for what they were intended for anymore and everything is so commercialized I just would rather not contribute to that. But, since I'm doing this 30 Days of Gratitude thing I had to pick one. Actually, I was going to choose to use the term holiday as my European friends use it, like us Americans use the word vacation. That's much more my style than "holidays".

      Still a bit raw for this but I'm very grateful for Christmas 2017, the last Christmas my brother and I were able to spend with my mom. Grateful we could both travel and take the time to be in Texas with her. Grateful we found the oh so perfect last-minute gifts with Cardinals on them, pajamas, an ornament and a hanging cardinal whose wings flapped (one of those solar gizmos). Grateful to be able to be together.

    • So sorry to hear about your mom. It's good you were able to spend time with her.

      What part of Texas? I'm a Texan myself!

      Like you, I'm not a big fan of most holidays, but I really unreservedly love Thanksgiving. I enjoy the food of course, but also just hanging out with family, with no gift-giving pressure, in an environment of positivity and thankfulness. Even when things are going horribly wrong in the world, I still feel pretty good on Thanksgiving.

    • Thank you Ryan. It was a long last year. She lived in Brownsville for the last 25 years. My parents retired the day my dad turned 55, sold the house, bought a brand new 5th wheel and pick up to pull it and took off. As they got older they spent more and more time in Brownsville and eventually when my dad got sick 7 years ago bought a 'permanent' mobile there.

      I was in Brownsville for 4 months with mom and we were very fortunate that she was strong enough in January for us to get her on a plane to Illinois. Very nice nursing home facility 5 minutes from our house. So, it worked out very well and she loved it there.

      That's a good way to describe Thanksgiving - no stress of gifts. I find as I'm getting older that I don't enjoy the big family gatherings, and maybe because my family was small and never really did that. My husband's family is a bit larger and they are all quite, ummm, loud. It's a bit overwhelming to me. I go, sit in my corner somewhere and basically observe with my glass of wine. :)

    • That’s a hard one to pick cause I agree with you, holidays have become so commercialized that they lose their meaning. But if I had to choose, it would be Thanksgiving. That day holds special meaning to me from when I was a kid to the new traditions I hold as an adult. Always the underlying theme was that it was a day where we dedicated family time to be together, share in games, a lot of food and being present in the moment. Life is so hectic but that day is a great reminder to make sure that we let each other know how much we love them and what we are most thankful for. To not take for granted how precious family, life, health and happiness can be.

      BTW, I am a fan of your 30 day series. It really makes me stop and think about each question/topic. 😀

    • All beautifully said. Wonderful to hear that you still get together and take the time to just BE with your family.

      Thank you. One of my friends posted a list/graphic of the 30 Days of Gratitude and I commented that it would be a fun challenge to find a photograph for. I'm slowly getting myself back to my own work and this is a good way to post daily. It's also a good way to reflect, look through the archives and get myself refocused. Appreciate you commenting and following along.

    • Your mother looks like a wonderful, warm person. Funny how a photo can capture that sometimes. Losing someone you're very close to has an effect on the rest of your life, I believe. That's certainly how it's worked out fo me.

    • I'd say Thanksgiving too.

      I first came to the US to live (always been a citizen) when I went to college. Living in other countries, I never experienced T'giving and knew nothing about it.

      As a freshman in a new country, I didn't have any friends. And yet the guy from the room next door in my dorm invited me to go spend Thanksgiving with his family. It was lovely. They were lovely.

      It's an experience that's stayed with me for decades. And so for me, Thanksgiving represents friendship, inviting strangers to share a meal and companionship, kindness. Some of the finer things we humans are capable of.

      I hope we never lose that.