A bowl of oranges on a table

Let’s Make Every Day Thanksgiving!

A bowl of oranges on a table

I love Thanksgiving so much it vies for first place in my favorite holiday lineup. I love and adore a classic Turkey Dinner with all the trimmings. I love the fall weather, which always accompanies the day. I love the fact that Thanksgiving ushers in the winter holidays, offering me a front-row seat at the very best time of the year.

I love all of those things. In fact, I kinda’ wish that every day were Thanksgiving! Gratitude is too important in our lives to be considered briefly en masse on this, the fourth Thursday of November.

This has been one awful year. The coronavirus has turned our lives upside down. My heart breaks for those of you who have lost a loved one, a friend, a colleague. I know that many of you are struggling with financial stress due to a layoff or reduced hours, or lost clients. We’ve been filled to the max with heartache and challenge.

Even in the face of such heartache, challenge, and uncertainty, I am more convinced than ever that giving thanks and counting our blessings is good for us. It reminds us of the positive things in life. Gratitude turns bad things into good things, takes our eyes off ourselves, and reminds us to thank others.

Just imagine what might happen if our annual single-day tradition of giving thanks were to become a daily routine? Health professionals suggest we would be rewarded with better health, as medical science reveals more about the strong connection between gratitude and good health.

And just as strong is the fact that stress can make us sick. It’s linked to heart disease and cancer. Shockingly, stress is responsible for up to 90% of all doctor visits. Just think about the financial costs associated with stress-related maladies. The antidote for stress is gratitude, as it calms our minds and lowers our blood pressure. Then, we are able to see our circumstances in a fresh, new light.

Even in the face of tremendous loss or tragedy, it’s possible to feel gratitude. Adversity can actually boost feelings of gratitude, a phenomenon that many of us have experienced the tremendous loss of this year, in light of what we still possess.

You don’t have to wait for a tragedy to grow your feelings of gratitude. You can start today with something as simple as a gratitude journal. Research shows that people who keep gratitude journals on a weekly basis feel better about their lives as a whole, exercise more regularly, report fewer physical symptoms and maintain greater optimism about the future.

Perhaps you’re wondering what to be grateful for.

Be thankful that you don’t have everything you desire. If you did, you would have nothing to look forward to.

Be thankful for the difficult people you have to work with. They are improving your patience and understanding.

Be thankful when you don’t know something because it gives you the opportunity to learn. Be thankful for difficult times, because it’s in times of hardship that you grow

Be thankful when you’re exhausted at the end of a day because you know you’ve accomplished something.

What do I give thanks for, privately, in my own gratitude sessions? It varies every day. I thank my readers for the encouragement they give me by reading this column. I thank my family and friends for all they do for me.

Every day I thank God for this life he’s given me. I thank people I know around the world for the things they’re doing out of personal sacrifice to make the world better.

Choose to be grateful today—and every day—for all that you have. Gratitude will fill your heart with contentment. And best of all? Gratitude is 100% free, in any amount you desire.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Everyday Cheapskate!


More from Mary's Everyday Cheapskate

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Homemade Corned Beef and Cabbage with Carrots and Potatoes
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  1. Annie says:

    Mary, so thankful for your genuine love and passion for
    others. Your servant heart
    touches so many lives.
    God Bless you and your beautiful family.

  2. Cate says:

    Oh, Mary, what a great slant on gratitude! Reminds me of a gratitude conversation I had early 2020 (before stockpiling) in which I was urged to be grateful for such simple aspects of life as toilet paper! Now, that has even more impact! I pray you enjoy your family today.

  3. Sarah Daniel says:

    Thanks Mary for your lovely thoughts and words…..What a nice way to start our Thanksgiving morning. God Bless You and your lovely family.

  4. Diane Fraser says:

    Thanks for this message today. You’ve reminded me of how much I do have to be grateful for. Blessings to you and your family.

  5. Jean Marshall says:

    Thank you for the column on gratitude. It reminded me of a little poem I have saved for 56 years.

    I Love Life 
    Life! I love it,
    Its winds and its rains,
    Its winds and its rains,
    Its high hills and plains,
    Its days that are fair — 
    Red roses everywhere,
    All there is of it
    This life, I love it.

    – Zara Sabin

    The Relief Society Magazine, volume 52, issue 12, pages 908, December 1965
    Saved and shared by my mother Kay Stockseth in her hand-made first anniversary card to me and my husband Don.

  6. Lori says:

    I’ve been a fan for years and am grateful for the thousands of ways you’ve helped me save time and money. Probably the column I’m most grateful for is the one where you mentioned that you spent one day a week caring for your grandsons. I’m an author, blogger, and speaker who’s trying very hard to be faithful with the opportunities God has given me. Sometimes, as a task-oriented person, I neglect the people in favor of the projects or the to-do list. Your column (and your life example) reminded me that I can make time (notice I didn’t say TAKE time) to invest in my grandchildren’s lives and still succeed in other areas. You reminded me, through your godly example, that God can multiply my time and allow me to get everything important done while still doing the most important thing — pouring my life into people (the only thing that lasts forever). May God richly bless you as you seek to honor Him in all you do. Happy THanksgiving!

  7. Bill Stock says:

    Darlene just stated my regards for you and your work. I understand you live somewhere in Northern Colorado, as do I, we are both blessed to live in such a beautiful place, closer to God than living elsewhere. I have lived in 5 states, all less beautiful, makes gratitude easier. Bill

  8. Darlene says:

    Mary, I’m so thankful for you and your ministry. You’ve been a blessing to me for many years. I treasure your wisdom, and I’m so grateful for your willingness to share with us all that you have learned. I have most of your books, hundreds (thousands?!?) of your great recipes, and your helpful tips have saved me time, frustration, and money. I love passing along your great information to family and friends, and they also are very appreciative of you and your website. Please stay safe, stay well, and keep up the great work. You truly are an inspiration to me and many others, and I pray that God continues to bless you, your family, and your ministry. With grateful thanks, Darlene

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