Thankfulness lasts longer than one day

Published 11:07 am Monday, November 26, 2018

Here’s something you probably already know, but I’m going to talk about it anyway.

We celebrate Thanksgiving each year for one day. When that Thursday in November rolls around, we gather together with family and/or friends to eat a lot of food, watch the Macy’s parade or football, and to just spend time in fellowship.

The holiday is branded as a day of thankfulness, where we count our blessings and hopefully look forward for more to come. I remember in elementary school every year we’d have an assignment around the holiday to write a list of what we’re thankful for. I’d always list what I termed as the “3 F’s”: food, family, and fun. (In that exact order, by the way. My priorities have changed as an adult now, but the younger me definitely enjoyed the abundance of extra desserts my mom made more than anything else.)

By the time this column is printed, Thanksgiving Day will have come and gone. But the point of the holiday—other than to get a vacation day—is to reflect on the good things in our lives, no matter how big or small, and appreciate them.

I’ll admit I don’t always do that myself. It can be easy to get distracted by the busyness of life and let the day pass by without any second thought. It can be easy to get bogged down in negativity and the stresses of life so much that you convince yourself you don’t have ANYTHING to be thankful for. (Spoiler alert: you actually do.)

This year, I’m going to make a better effort to appreciate what I have: both the big things and the little things. Even after the holiday is over.

With Thanksgiving passed, the Christmas holiday season is upon us. One of the things I really like about this time of year is the spirit of giving. People come together to help those in need through different charities, donations, free meals, and much more. Isn’t Thanksgiving the perfect holiday to kick off that season? A day to look around and say, “I have so much to be grateful for. How can I share that with others?”

Once Christmas and New Years is over, however, we tend to go back to focusing on ourselves. The canned food drives are over with. The angel trees are put away for another year. Volunteers return to their regularly scheduled lives.

But plenty of people remain in need of help.

I’m already planning ahead to think of ways I can continue to help our community all throughout the upcoming year. I may not be able to help much and I may make a few mistakes along the way, but I want to challenge myself anyway. I’m thankful for the good things I have in my life, and I definitely want to share that with others.

I’d like to challenge anyone out there reading my column to try to do the same. Look at your community, look at your neighbors. What can you do to share your blessings?

I’m not writing this column to guilt-trip anyone into feeling obligated to be charitable. I’m writing this because I want everyone to at least spend some time in thought about the topic. Like I said when I opened this column: it’s something we probably already know. But maybe we don’t always take a moment to actually think or talk about it.

Thankfulness doesn’t last for only one designated Thursday in November. It should be all year long. The holiday is simply a reminder.


Holly Taylor is a Staff Writer at Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at or by phone at 252-332-7206.