No one to thank for what I’m thankful for.

I actually celebrate Thanksgiving, though not in the traditional way of course. I’ve heard too many horror stories about how this tradition came about. For one thing, Thanksgiving is the Christian version of the pagan Halloween. They’re both harvest festivals. It’s just that one of them was bastardized and the other erected as a replacement of the old practice but with a new name, now being devoted to prayer.

I don’t pray. There is no God to thank for anything. Let’s be realistic. God is not even a possibility. It really isn’t. But that doesn’t mean I have nothing to be thankful for. When I was a little boy, I often heard the phrase, “you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone”. I remember thinking, “that’s stupid”. Since then I’ve learned to take stock in all that I’ve got going for me and what I should appreciate while I can still enjoy it right now.

Even in my hardest times, I’ve always had a list of things that I appreciated having then. Maybe I’ve always just had a positive attitude, but that certainly helped me get by when things were tough. I’ve got more to be thankful for now than ever before. It wouldn’t make sense for me to list things I have that I don’t share with all y’all. So let me list something that we do share.

When I married Lilandra, I suddenly had three more kids living with me. On our first Thanksgiving as a newly-blended family, we talked about how it was just a hundred years ago that the US didn’t yet have state-funded compulsory education, that kids back then often worked in factories without the benefits brought about by unions. Those industries also polluted terribly because they were unrestricted by any federal regulations, and there was as yet no legislation protecting the environment. That the looming administration promises to make America suck like that again isn’t as important as appreciating the fact that it’s not that way right now. Appreciate what we still have, and let’s try to keep it. When people worry about how bad things can get, they only need to think back to how bad they’ve already been: and it would be a good idea not to think of those times as the Good ol’ days.

So drink up, hug your family and feast your neighbors. Take stock in whatcha got. Because someday, we might all long for these good ol’ days we have right now.

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