Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often.
All kidding aside, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I like the fact that it's primarily about being in the company of family and friends and reflecting on what we have, rather than what we don't have. I like that the only gifts most people give at Thanksgiving are gifts of time, nourishment, and companionship. I often wish that Christmas was more like Thanksgiving—more about people, less about things.
Of course, I also love the food. I attempt to show my thanks for it by consuming one and a half times my body weight in a single day. It's the day I wear my special "buffet pants," the conveniently gravy-colored ones with the elastic waistband. Last year, I swear it nearly took the jaws-of-life to extract me from my chair at the dining room table after the Thanksgiving feast my dear wife lovingly prepared for our family.
Given the difficult financial situations confronting many Americans this Thanksgiving, I hope the holiday will provide some much-needed solace, both for us individually and as a nation. If there ever was a time when we should count our blessings and take stock in what we have—rather than worry about the stock in our 401(k)s—this is that time. In a world in which nearly half of all people live on less than $2.50 a day and in which 2 billion people go hungry, the vast majority of us here in America are indeed incredibly fortunate.
Although I realize that Canadians also celebrate Thanksgiving and similar harvest-time celebrations exist in many nations of the world, our Thanksgiving has a uniquely American feel. It always reminds me of how grateful I am to live in America, to enjoy our freedoms every day—and of how appreciative I am of the people who work to keep us safe and free.
So what are you thankful for this holiday of Thanksgiving? Thanks to those who shared their thoughts for our contest drawing. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and remember, save the leftovers for me.
Jeff Yeager is the author of the book, "The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches." His Web site is www.UltimateCheapskate.com.