Thanksgiving With Ryz

Empty chairs around the table. Fewer place settings.  A smaller than normal turkey to carve.  No one lining the streets of New York for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  This Thanksgiving is definitely going to look a lot different than we are used to.  Par for the course, right?
It seems that this year, we are all willing 2020 to end sooner than later.  Think about it: just 3 weeks ago, stores couldn’t wait to rid the shelves of Halloween decor in order to replace it with Christmas decorations, radio stations flipped the switch to holiday music and Hallmark movies are on full repeat on devices 24/7.  And with sales and specials starting earlier as well, it seems like we can’t wait to shift our focus from being thankful about what we have to being gluttonous about the things we want.
Look, I love Christmas just as much as the next Grizwold, but if there were ever a time for us to not overlook the one day we are to focus on what we are thankful for, it is 2020.  As we look back upon this year, we all have endured hardships and made sacrifices for our well-being, as well as the safety and health of our family, friends and communities.  While we will never forget the challenges that this year has delivered, we must also remember to be grateful for the many blessings which helped us overcome a time where our faith and foundation have been tested.  With all that we have to be thankful for, even during a year like this, the best gift we all have is time.  
My father always said, “The past is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and all we can be grateful for the gift of today which is why it is our present.”  Time is priceless, it is irreplaceable and once it is gone, we can never get it back.  The time you have with your family and friends, whether you are around the table or a tablet, is the greatest gift you are given and that you can give in return. 
So instead of overlooking what this holiday is meant to deliver, instead of wishing for time to pass, instead of focusing on the challenges the year has brought, try to look at it from a different perspective.  Look fondly at the empty chairs that provided you time to laugh around the table and look forward to the day you will be reunited together.  Don’t put the extra table settings away in case this year is the time someone might need a place to go.  Cook the same size turkey you are used to so that you can provide leftovers to a frontline worker to save them time from cooking in order to eat and relax in between shifts.  And enjoy every moment of Thanksgiving, with a heart that is grateful for every minute that has been given to you.
May you and your family have a safe, happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday.