It’s time to take stock and truly be thankful

Do me a favor, and hold off on the Christmas carols and Hanukkah traditions for a minute. Just take a deep breath and put the shopping list in a drawer, and relax on all thoughts on how you are going to get Aunt Mildred here from her nursing home in Mississippi in time for Christmas.

I know. I know. There are a million things to do before the holy holidays strike, and you want everything to be just perfect. I promise I’ll let you get back to your regularly-scheduled programming before you know it. I’m just asking for a small sliver of your valuable time to focus on the immediate task at hand.

It’s Thanksgiving, people.

To me, this is the most wonderful holiday of all. Now, before you start firing off hostile emails or throwing things at my car as I drive by, note that I said “wonderful,” and not “most important” or “most significant.” To me, personally, Thanksgiving is my favorite time.

For one thing, the day has still avoided some of the over-commercialism and saturation of the major religious holidays around the corner. Go in any store the first week of November and you will see the Halloween items already replaced by Christmas selections. Thanksgiving is stealth in comparison, and that is something I truly appreciate.

Plus, the day is truly about three things, and three things only: Being thankful, spending time with loved ones and eating. I’m of the personal opinion that if we all concentrated on those three things on a daily basis we would be in a much better place as a civilization. Fatter, yes. But stronger, and much more likely to live in a world of peace. I mean, who has the energy to start a war after eating 319 pounds of food and ...

But I digress.

What truly puts the “Thanks” into “Thanksgiving” is recognizing and appreciating all that we are thankful for in our own lives. It varies from person to person, as it should, and it forces all of us to truly take stock and focus on the things we appreciate in life, as opposed to moaning and complaining about all the things we hate, which far too many people do in their day-to-day lives.

With all that being said, I’ve put together a small sample of all the things I am thankful for this year.

• For starters, my family. I am blessed to be surrounded by people who love me and would do anything in their power to make me even just a little happier each day. For that, I am most thankful.

• I’m thankful that the Baltimore Orioles have had consecutive winning seasons after years of being a laughingstock. You might think that’s trivial, and it probably is at some level, but having a winning team to wake up to for six months a year makes mornings a little easier.

• I’m thankful that I get to work here at the Coastal Point every day. Trust me on this: Not every day is an easy one, and there are times my stomach feels like it’s locked in “spin” cycle for days on end. However, you aren’t going to find a more eager group of co-workers anywhere, and this is a wonderful community to serve.

• I’m thankful for microwaveable rice. Dinner just got a lot more interesting.

• I’m thankful for the loyal and true friends I’ve been able to enjoy from my time in the Marine Corps over the last 20-plus years, and equally thankful for the amazing group of friends I have compiled here over the years. There couldn’t be two more different groups of guys on the surface, but both are formed of funny, clever people who would give me the shirts off their backs if I ever required that. I do stipulate that I don’t want any of those guys taking off their shirts in my presence, though.

• I’m thankful for gold-toe socks. Nothing helps make me feel more secure than lining up two socks out of the dryer and knowing they are a match because of the toes, except maybe ...

• I’m thankful for TiVo and Netflix and Hulu and all the other ways I can watch my favorite television shows without being held captive by programming schedules, or being subjected to mindless television commercials. Those things just drive me crazy and lead me to changing channels every time they come on, leading me to forget to come back to watch the show I was into a few minutes before. Seriously, I find them useless on so many levels. Why don’t people just advertise in newspapers and get more bang for their buck? (Call Susan Lyons at 539-1788 for all your advertising needs.)

Happy Thanksgiving, one and all!