Thanksgiving is almost here, folks! It’s that oh-so-wonderful time of year where we eat, we drink and we pass out in tryptophan comas (and then some people risk life and limb to go shopping the next day, for some mad reason). Among the time-honored Thanksgiving traditions there is, of course, that of going around the table to let everyone name off the things for which they are thankful.
Considering all the hard times we’ve had in 2020, it may seem like there’s not all that much to be thankful for. We’re in the middle of an ongoing pandemic. We’ve suffered through an economic crisis. And of course there was that weird toilet paper shortage thing that happened when people started panic buying back in March.
No doubt, it’s been a rough year so far… but… it could have been worse? Maybe?
Even in the darkest of times, there is always some light. You just have to know where to look. To help our readers look on the bright side of life for the upcoming holiday, we’ve decided to offer our Top 10 List of Things to Be Thankful for this Thanksgiving!
1. New Experiences/Hobbies
When the pandemic hit, many of us suddenly found ourselves spending a lot more time at home. This led many people to try new activities and take up new (or old or abandoned) hobbies. For some, it meant taking up knitting or crocheting. Others learned how to bake bread. Some (myself included) used the time to read more books. Whatever your new experience or hobby, be thankful for it.
2. Getting Back to Nature
Since outdoor activities are a bit safer, allowing for easier social distancing, many people have used the pandemic as an opportunity to get back to nature. Some took up hiking. Others went camping for the first time (or, at least, for the first time in a long time). Perhaps you chose to learn kayaking or decided to start birdwatching. No matter what you did outdoors, the chance to get reacquainted with nature is definitely something to be thankful for.
3. The Internet
Can you imagine what this whole safer-at-home experience would have been like if it had happened back in the 90s, before everyone had high-speed access to the internet (or smartphones, for that matter)? Needless to say, things would have been a lot more difficult (not to mention boring). Heck, several items on this list wouldn’t even exist if not for the internet. So, be sure to give thanks to the internet for helping us all stave off the constant creep of cabin fever while we have been forced to stay at home.
4. Streaming Services
Speaking of staying entertained while staying at home, streaming services such as Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and Amazon Video have become even more popular in the days of the pandemic. Being able to binge watch shows, both old and new, allowed many of us to stay sane. Many of these services also provided exercise programs to help folks stay in shape while stuck at home. So, we should be thankful these services exist. Just imagine what being forced to stay at home for months would have been like back in the days when there was nothing but network television.
5. Live Video Chat
Whether it was to work from home or stay in touch with family, live video chat solutions have been essential this year. FaceTime, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or whatever else you might use, have allowed us to still be able to hold meetings from anywhere, or to just see a familiar face and hear a friendly voice. And, if you were extremely lucky, your children didn't video-bomb your online meeting. So, give thanks.
6. Online Games & VR
While on the topic of being together while apart, online video games have been a very popular distraction during the pandemic. There was even the hashtag #PlayTogetherApart, which helped people who were new to online gaming find the communities that were best suited to their favorite games and/or play styles. In addition to online games, many people turned to virtual reality to stay active while staying at home. With VR systems such as the Oculus and PlayStation VR, players were able to destroy blocks with lightsabers, fly X-Wings or go on assorted virtual adventures, all from the comfort of their living rooms.
7. Convenient Food Delivery
These days, we can order food… and groceries… and even liquor (if that’s how you roll) from our phones. Thanks to the quick and convenient delivery options provided by services like Domino’s, Uber Eats, DoorDash and Postmates, just about everything we need for sustenance is just an app away. So, let’s give thanks for the food (and drink) delivery people! Those folks are awesome!
2020 has been a really fun year when it comes to stuff going on in the night sky. Back in October (on Halloween night, in fact), the sky was lit up by a Blue Moon. Then, last week, there was the SpaceX launch (which, for those of us here in Florida, could be seen lifting off into the starry sky). Right now, there is a really cool Leonid meteor shower going on that you can watch almost every night until the end of November. All these events have given us a lot of pretty cool stuff to stargaze at while sitting on the porch or lounging out on a blanket in the yard.
9. COVID Communities (a.k.a “The Squad”)
If you are anything like me, you used to hypothetically ponder exactly who you would choose to have on your “apocalypse squad.” Well… now you know the answer. Because it’s pretty much whoever is in your little COVID bubble right now. Whether it’s all the families in your cul-de-sac or just the folks in your household along with a few select friends and family, be happy for the company of your own personal “COVID squad.” Assemble!
10. Working in Comfy Pajamas
Who doesn’t love a good set of comfy pajamas? One of the few definite perks of the pandemic, for those of us who’ve been able to work from home, has been the ability to work in our favorite pair of cozy sleepwear. Rejoice, dear friends, and give thanks if you’ve had a chance to strut your stuff in those beautiful pajamas while working from home!
No matter what you are thankful for this Thanksgiving, remember to stay safe! Mask up when needed. Social distance as much as possible. Wash your hands frequently. Because it’s better to have a safe and socially-distanced Thanksgiving than it is to spend your Christmas on a ventilator.