Pilgrims John Alden and Priscilla Mullins, my great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandparents.
Thanksgiving is my all-time favorite holiday of the year. I love it because there are no gifts to purchase, and no pressure to decorate or meet some impossible standard. I truly enjoy preparing our Thanksgiving meal, and sharing it with family and good friends. I love it as well as a time to focus and give thanks for all the many blessings in my life, including but not limited to the privilege of being born in and living in the United States, all the opportunities I have been given and that still await, and my and my family’s good health and fortune. We have so much to be thankful for here at Casa Losing It.
To all my readers, warmest and heartfelt wishes to you and your family for a happy Thanksgiving.
It’s tradition at this time of the year to give thanks for the many blessings we have, including but not limited to our families, our jobs, our health, our friends, our homes, our pets and perhaps some of our possessions. This month my husband and I have re-watched Ken Burn’s outstanding series, The Civil War, on Netflix and we’ve also been watching Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. These shows have both made me stop and think at times about how much I take for granted in my daily life, and how much abundance we truly have these days. So this year, while I give thanks for my wonderful husband, children, daughter-in-law and grandson; for my mother’s continued good health; for our jobs; our good health and good friends; our comfortable home; our two goofy dogs and cat; and yes, even some of our possessions, I also want to give thanks for those things in life that I don’t stop and think about, things that I take for granted every day. At the top of my list are:
- Clean water: Portland has been said to have the cleanest and freshest tasting water in the country right out of the tap. I never give a thought about what comes out of my tap or that it might not be there. For way too many in the world though, some right here in the United States, access to clean, potable water is a daily struggle .
- Electricity: With very few exceptions (caused by storms or other natural disasters), I do not have to worry whether the lights will come on or for how long they will stay on or whether we have too many things plugged in that might cause the electricity to go out. We have a refrigerator, washing machine, computer and many other items that make our lives much easier because of a consistent source of power. I might not like how much I have to pay for it, but I honestly never think about whether it will be there or not. (The same can be said for natural gas, by the way.)
- Abundant Choice: This is something that I, as a middle class resident of the United States, take for granted more than anything. I have multiple choices for where to shop, how much to spend, and what to feed my family. I have several choices about how and where to educate my children whether that be public or private school, homeschooling or otherwise. I have a multitude of choices for finding out what’s going on in my neighborhood, my country and the world. I can choose whether to shop at Goodwill or Nordstrom, or whether to buy anything new or used. For everything I need or want to purchase there is a huge variety of styles, colors, price points, and so forth. The choices I make to live a more frugal life are First World choices, and usually not worthy of all the sturm und drang that gets attached to them.
In the coming year, my goal will be to try and think more about these and other things in my daily life that I have been blessed with but often overlook, and to be more grateful for them. As I sit down with my family and friends this year to our Thanksgiving feast, my prayer will be that my eyes and heart be opened to all I have and have been given and yet take for granted, and for ways to help those who do not have as much.
A happy and blessed Thanksgiving to all my readers, for whom I am exceedingly thankful and grateful!
I’m not going to write up a favorite recipe this week because I don’t have a special frugal holiday recipe to share, and it’s too late for a Thanksgiving recipe anyway. Thanksgiving dinner at Chez Losing It is pretty standard, and my few tries at introducing a new recipe have been, for the most part, spectacularly unsuccessful. Along with roast turkey we traditionally have mashed potatoes and turkey gravy, stuffing, roasted sweet potatoes, canned cranberry sauce (I’ve tried many other recipes and brands and been asked to stick to good old Ocean Spray, HFCS or not), steamed peas, salad (sometimes), biscuits and pumpkin pie. Tomorrow our friends will be bringing the sides (other than mashed potatoes and gravy) and the dessert, so we may be in for something new. I did buy a box of Trader Joe’s stuffing so we can have it with our leftover turkey this weekend. While I make most things from scratch, I tried Trader Joe’s stuffing mix a couple of years ago and it was a hit, so I’ve decided to stick with what the people like.
I do want to share a link to some fabulous vegetarian recipes that appeared last week in the New York Times Well blog. There are so many I cannot wait to try, and I’m not going to wait until Thanksgiving next year to get started on them!
A happy and blessed Thanksgiving to all my readers and your families – I count you all among the many, many things I am thankful for this year.