Is Thankfulness too much to ask for?

Normally Thanksgiving is about getting together and enjoying each others company. In my case, with no nearby family, I tend to host Sailors at my house who can’t travel home to be with family. They come from a variety of backgrounds, so the conversations we have over the dinner table are always interesting. Despite the time we spend cooking, I don’t tend to find having guests over as stressful.

Apparently I’m a minority, at least if you have a Facebook account. Plenty of Facebook friends were complaining about having to hang out with their family, dreading the inevitable conversations about how they are doing (work, family, etc.) or having political conversations. At first I thought maybe that’s just my Facebook friends, and then I found articles like this.

I still have conversations like the table on the left, except normally about Star Wars. Image from

We’ve obviously lost, or are losing, a bit of civilization here. First, how can we not have decent conversations anymore? Given the massive realm of things to talk about, I continue to find this amazing. Everyone has hopes, dreams, things that went well and the occasional funny story, and if you haven’t seen them most of the year, that should be plenty to share.

Second, have we forgot about thankfulness? Just the fact that someone wanted to have you at their house is a good thing. When I volunteered in the past at a senior center, I was amazed at the number of people that had no visiting family members. None. One gal hadn’t had someone visit her in over two years. That’s just sad. That loneliness is unhealthy, and as we get older, it’s only going to get worse.

I do too…

We should be more thankful for our families, even if they are dysfunctional. Be thankful when you can see them, as many of us cannot do so. Find something to talk about in the large area of neutral topics. Above all, eat the food and be happy you live where food is plentiful and relatively safe. And remember, Thanksgiving, Christmas and all the other holidays aren’t times to sharpen the political discussion or settle scores.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other federal agency.

Why would it anyway? I mean, all the federal government does is make it a holiday.

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