When baby boomers think of Thanksgiving, they think about:
- giving thanks;
- family and friends;
- turkey dinner;
- Macy’s parade;
- Black Friday shopping;
- leftovers; and
- past Thanksgivings with family members who are no longer with them.
The tradition of Thanksgiving remains sacred to baby boomers. We remember traditional family Thanksgiving dinners when we were growing up and the ones we had with our own families. Today, many of us celebrate Thanksgiving as grandparents and have dinner with our children and grandchildren. Those of us who no longer have families often spend the day with close friends, share in another family’s dinner or volunteer at a soup kitchen. Thanksgiving is about togetherness.
But Thanksgiving is also a time to be thankful. Dating back to the first Thanksgiving feast between the pilgrims and native Americans, Thanksgiving has always been a time to count the blessings in your life and give thanks for all that you have. It is a day to remember all of the things for which you are thankful.
For most 50+ Americans, Thanksgiving is truly about giving thanks. A recent Harris Interactive poll found Americans are generally thankful for the health of their family, their family relationships and technology, which makes it easy to stay in touch with family and friends. But food ranks a close second. The poll showed the traditional food dish people most look forward to is turkey, followed by stuffing, pumpkin pie, potatoes – mashed or sweet, and cranberry sauce, jelly or relish.
So what are baby boomers thankful for this Thanksgiving?
- the blessings in their lives;
- their family;
- good health;
- friends and colleagues who enrich their life;
- having a job;
- being able to support their family;
- being happy;
- being independent;
- being Americans;
- volunteering and giving back to their communities; and
- all the tomorrows to come.
This Thanksgiving, I am thankful to be able to prepare Thanksgiving dinner and share it with my husband, brother and sister-in-law, the only immediate family I have left. I am grateful for my health, my wonderful friends, my two Old English sheepdogs, my rewarding volunteer work and my freelance career, including the opportunity to write this column for the Examiner.
As baby boomers grow older, we become more appreciative of all of the blessings in our life. This Thanksgiving, let us be thankful for each one of them.