Thanksgiving calls for us to gather our family around us, acknowledge the things we have to be thankful for, and feast. It’s a time full of warmth, celebration, and fellowship.

Most of us are fortunate enough to spend the holiday with the loved ones we hold closest to us, but there are also far too many Americans who aren’t that fortunate. 

Soldiers are away from home, farmers are out plowing fields, workers in the food and retail industries are working on this day, to name a few. There are homeless in the streets, sick left at home, or elderly who are unable to travel.

Many of us take for granted how lucky we are to be able to toss a football in the backyard, set the table, or simply sit around a fireplace reminiscing with our fathers, mothers, grandparents, siblings, aunts, and uncles, or cousins. 

Too many families have empty seats at their table this year. 

Acknowledge those that aren’t as lucky as you, and if you dare to venture out to the nearest shopping mall, remember to don your most positive attitude for those that are forced to greet you behind the counter with a smile as they miss time with their own families. 

Remember to thank a soldier for a time they were forced to celebrate overseas, wishing a short phone call could really make up for the thousands of miles between them and their loved ones. 

Remember those who have lost their loved ones this year, who may still be healing from their loss. 

If you are able, pay the sick or elderly a visit. On this day—a day we set aside to remember our blessings—be thankful for the loved ones you have beside you today, and remember the holiday can be lonely for some. Be thankful for your home, the food on your plate, your family, and all the other countless blessings for which you have to be grateful.

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