Thanksgiving may be the time many think of as the holiday for giving thanks – but for me it at the year end when I consider all that I have to be thankful for.
This is when I take the time – after the Christmas rush – to communicate with friends and make plans to spend time together in the new year. We send cards to celebrate the beginning of a new year, a year in which we hope all will be good, as we go forward with projects and plans for the months ahead. As the year begins we also think about those who made a difference in our lives this year, and thank them. We talk with our children and our parents and thank them for their love and support – we don’t want to wait until it is too late.
The shortest day of the year is past – from now on every day is a day closer to the day we can get out on the bay and back to the cottage.
I was taught as a child to write thank you notes – it was simply unacceptable not to do so. We were sat down with paper and pens shortly after opening gifts and the thank you notes were done without delay. The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe, an exceptional book in every way, describes a similar expectation from the author’s childhood, a responsibility taught by his mother. Now it seems to be a tradition that has almost disappeared. It is such a simple thing to do, to express thanks. A written note is best, a phone call would be acceptable – even an email is better than nothing. Thanking someone for a gift, or a kindness, should not have to be taught, it should be our first impulse. So, pick up a pen, the telephone – or even your computer – and send a message of thanks to someone you love, someone you work with, someone who might just need a kind word.
There are times when life is not always easy and we sometimes worry about the future, but we also realize how fortunate we are – to have a home, to have the love of family and friends. We need only to watch the news, or to look at others on the street to know that we are indeed fortunate. So, thanks to my family – my longtime longsuffering husband – and my patient children – for the richness of life you have given me. The older I get the more I understand how very precious it is. I recently read (probably in an obituary) “the days are long, but life is short” and thought how true that is.
As a new year begins, thank you to the customers who keep this little bookshop in business year after year. Thanks for sharing the books you have enjoyed with me, thanks for the conversation and friendships that have developed over the past 26 years. Thanks to the writers who put their hearts into their books and give us all such pleasure when we read their work.
Thanks for 2013 – Happy New Year – and best wishes for a really great 2014!