Thanksgiving is here, the kick-off to all those winter holidays when you’re supposed to count your blessings and tally up everything you’re grateful for. Of course, there are those obvious things we always mention; friends and family and a roof over our heads, warm food on the table and an overall secure existence. But all too often we forget the smaller things in life, the little things that we don’t mention as we go around the table to say what we appreciate each Thanksgiving.
So here are six little things I think we should remember this Thanksgiving. Here’s to getting through the holidays, while also realizing the great things we have sitting right in front of us on the daily.
1. A day (maybe?) off work.
Let’s face it, something that pretty much everyone treasures above all things is a break from the nine-to-five grind. For a lot of us (but not all of us – I’m not forgetting about you, retailers and restaurateurs), Thanksgiving is a time to sit back on the couch in the middle of the day. Football is a thing for some of us, so there’s that to gather round to. Or maybe you’ll have to endure ear-bleeding conversation with your ultra-conservative cousin, but hey, at least you’re not in office hell. And that is something to be thankful for.
Just in case watching football or arguing with your relatives over Donald Trump isn’t exactly your thing (I’m raising my hand here), the past decade has blessed us with the gift of online streaming. Even more technology has made it possible to watch pretty much whatever you want on any device you can imagine. So let’s be thankful for Netflix. Or Hulu. Or HBOGo. Or whatever streaming device your little heart desires. Because living in the year 2017 means being able to plug in your headphones and watch Game of Thrones while your relatives jump up and down watching grown men in protective gear pummel each other to the ground.
3. Quiet spaces.
There will come a time on Thanksgiving when you will part with your relatives. A time when you will hug them all goodbye, even that one uncle who kept insisting that the first woman President was not what America needed, and be on your way. Back to your room at home or in your apartment. It doesn’t really matter where you call home; all that matters is that there are times in life when you can appreciate quiet spaces, with only yourself for company. The end of a Thanksgiving meal is one of those times. Enjoy it. Savor the silence. Be thankful that sometimes the only company you need is your own.
4. Warm mugs and fairy lights.
This pairs really well with the above. The fact that hot beverages exist, which you can pour into your favorite mug, is a miracle. The fact that you can wrap your hand around said warm mug is an even greater miracle. You know what also adds to this greatness? Fairy lights. Seriously, they cost like ten bucks and are the greatest investment I’ve ever made. So do yourself a favor this Thanksgiving and relax alone in your room with a warm mug of something with your fairy lights turned on. If you haven’t already, you’ll realize this is something to always be thankful for, especially after the rough days.
This is something millennials don’t appreciate enough, myself included. I’m so used to hearing us twenty-somethings complaining about being an adult. About all of the responsibilities we have, about the childhoods we weren’t wise enough to appreciate and that we’ll now never get back. I get it. Being an adult sucks sometimes. But we also fail to see that it can actually be pretty great. We’re free from the restraints of family members, we’re out on our own. We’re living in places different from where we grew up. We’re traveling to different cities. We’re meeting new people and making plans and finding ourselves. Sure, paying rent sucks and health insurance is a thing, but we’re finally at the point where we can mold our fate into whatever shape we want. And I think that’s something to be grateful for.
6. The fact that we can keep coming up with “little things.”
Okay, so I have to admit that last “little thing” actually wound up being sort of big and significant in theory. But I’m still going to leave off with something that seems big thing, but can actually be broken into a million little pieces. It’s sort of abstract, but I’m a millennial and I guess I like to complicate things.
The last little thing we should be thankful for is the fact that those little things exist to begin with. The fact that there’s football and turkey dinners and fairy lights and Netflix and warm mugs filled with coffee or hot chocolate or tea. The fact that we’re adults and able to decide which little things make us the happiest. The fact that these things are not stagnant, but always changing and forever growing. I think that’s what I’m the most thankful for this Thanksgiving. The fact that the little things even exist at all.