The Thankful Season

My husband baking a cake with our grandson last Christmas

When our children were growing up, we used to pass a candle around the table at our Sunday evening suppers and take turns saying what we were thankful for. Our younger son announced one night, “Let me start with my unthankfuls.”

This became part of our family lore and whenever one of us had a particularly awful day, we’d share our unthankfuls—or, in the words of Judith Viorst, details about our “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.”

The pandemic sweeping our globe in 2020 has meant a lot of bad days for millions of folks around the world. I count myself among the very fortunate in that so far, I’ve not lost anyone in my family and friends to this terrible disease. Also, because I’m an at-home writer, my work life has continued with minimal interruption.

Still, like everyone else, I’ve experienced losses. Tops on my personal list is being unable to see my far-flung extended family and friends in person. I’ve warned my grandkids that when I finally get to see them in person, they’d better be prepared for humongous hugs that go on. And on…

And then there are the other losses that have come with Co-Vid. This past winter, for example, I joined Joyous Singers, a volunteer chorus dedicated to sharing the joy of music with nursing home and retirement community residents. When I discovered this group, I was so excited to combine my love of singing with this outreach service activity. Now, with group singing being a super-spreader event and visitors not welcome at facilities for the elderly, you can guess what’s become of Joyous Singers. The group is on hiatus, possibly permanently.

But enough whining. I have lots of things to be incredibly thankful for. Here’s just a partial list:

  • My amazingly lovable, hilarious husband I get to share my life with—and my kids, grandkids, and extended family and friends whom I adore and who fill my life with so much love and laughter.
  • My work as a writer—endlessly challenging and meaningful (okay, the rejections and disappointments aren’t fun, but…).
  • Exchanging the first round of edits with my editor at Fire and Ice for my forthcoming YA novel this past week and drawing closer to the book birthday for LEISHA’S SONG.
  • Getting to eat my husband’s delicious cooking—not great for my waistline, but oh, life is short.
  • Singing and making music with my guitar-playing spouse—good therapy through these dark days.
  • Books, libraries, and bookstores—truly life’s great blessings for bookaholics.
  • Rituals of love and connection—my husband reading to me at night, my weekly calls with my sisters, children, and grandkids, and on-line meetings with dear writing friends.
  • Bubble baths, scented candles, and all things Christmas—the music, food, cards, decorations, lights. If it were up to me, the season would be year-round!

So, those are some of the items on my list of “thankfuls.” I’d love to hear about the items on your list. So grateful for all of you.

Wishing you a happy and safe Thanksgiving!


  1. Barbaad hood on November 21, 2020 at 11:23 am

    Very uplifting Lynn. Thanks for sharing. We enjoy our daily walks and beautiful view of mountains. The rivers are not rumbling and tumbling since we have had little rain. Miss seeing friends here and the usual events. Christmas parades and celebrations have been cancelled but virus numbers are declining and hospitals have regular patients. Be safe and healthy!😊

    • Lynn Slaughter on November 21, 2020 at 1:04 pm

      Lovely description, Barb! Thank you. Have a beautiful Thanksgiving!

  2. Beth Schmelzer on November 22, 2020 at 7:10 am

    It’s not even Thanksgiving yet but families and neighborhoods all over our suburban area are putting up Christmas decorations because ” we need a little Christmas, right this bery minute. We need a little Christmas now!”
    Even my Jewish relatives are reveling in their first Christmas trees. My Unitarian raised son cannot wait to drive inbthe country to find a tree to choose on a tree farm, a family tradition and memory from his youth. We will all sing O Tanenbaum this year in our homes, rekindling the great grandparents ‘ traditions.
    All the best to you and yours. Lynn. Cannot wait to read LEISHA’S SONG!

    • Lynn Slaughter on November 22, 2020 at 12:33 pm

      Thanks, Beth! I so agree with you about needing “a little Christmas” this minute! My husband spent three days covering our yard and trees with holiday lights. It’s definitely cheered both of us up!

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