It’s hard not to be cliché when writing about Thanksgiving, because honestly, it’s all been said a million times before. The idea of the holiday becoming increasingly commercialized, however, is a cliché that has really grasped me this season. We all remember our crotchety old uncle at the Thanksgiving table airing his grievances through the tales of yesteryear, when they slept on dirt floors and ate shoe leather, and by golly they were thankful for it! And kids these days just have more junk than ever and only want more!
It’s easy to brush this idea off; however, consider the fact that America has a Holiday devoted to being thankful for what we have, followed by a no-rules, mad-dash, fight-enticing shopping day to get what we don’t have, dubbed Black Friday (which now is actually starting on Thanksgiving itself).
In light of so many overlooking the reason for Thanksgiving, this year at Serif house we decided to sit down and write out what we are thankful for and why. It’s basically an activity from elementary school, right up there with the hand-turkey, but it is quite beneficial. I encourage you to take a break today and write down what you are thankful for; it may bring some things to mind you may have been taking for granted.
Here’s what we wrote:
Justin: What am I thankful for this year? Where do I even begin..? This year has been a crazy, roller-coaster-like ride. A little over 6 months ago, I was finally able to make the move from New Concord to Columbus (finally ending my 2-3 hour commute). I am unbelievably thankful for all of the people I have met and all of the experiences I have been a part of here in the capital city. Since moving, I have met so many amazing people and have made countless friendships – the kind of friends who, while new, feel like they have existed forever. Relocating my life also has allowed me to gain a new appreciation for my family back home. Rather than going home every day and taking their presence for granted, I am able to fully appreciate being with them during the few occasions I am able to share with them. I am thankful for their love and support for not just this year, but every year prior to that. This Thanksgiving, as I reflect on the past 11 months of 2014 (and while it may sound cliché), I am thankful for all of my friends and family who have helped mold me into the person I am today. You are all a true blessing in my life and I could never fully explain the extent of which you have impacted me.
Benson: First and foremost, I am thankful for my grandparents. I’m blessed to still have them and their 86 years of life experience to guide me. They’ve helped raise me, taught me to work on a farm, scolded me when I needed it, and have always had a cup of coffee and a few hours to spare when I’m back in town. Next, I’m grateful for my wonderful girlfriend and my enormous family; they are extremely supportive and always push me to attain my next goal in life, without them I wouldn’t have the confidence to tie my shoes in the morning. Lastly, I’m thankful for the struggles I’ve went through. There have been many instances in my life where I’ve wanted to give up and run home; and sometimes I have. But the times when I’ve lost motivation and faith in myself, and yet for some reason kept pushing through, are what make me who I am today. I don’t take credit for the perseverance, usually a family member, friend, or boss forces me to trudge on. It’s the defeat of self-doubt that makes us all stronger, and is what I am most thankful for.
Doug: I’m thankful for so many different things and people in my life, it’s difficult to narrow them down; here they are in no particular order. My incredible girlfriend, Angela. She’s always there for me and is so encouraging. I could not ask for a more amazing partner in crime. Next, I’m thankful for the community I am a part of in Columbus. I’m surrounded by great people in every area of my life. I’m able to work with extremely cool, down-to-earth, good dudes every week at Serif. I also have a great group of friends who are always ready to hang out, explore, adventure, etc. I owe the world to my clients, and I’m thankful to have had great working experiences with every company we’ve partnered with since 2009. I’m shocked when I think about how great these experiences have been over the years, especially working with such a wide array of companies and industries. My health and energy makes me thankful for the first time this year. I became aware of how important this is after injuring my back playing for the Franklin Serifs in Columbus D-league basketball (we haven’t won a game yet, but we’re having a good time). Without good health, I wouldn’t be able to do the things I love: go out with friends, swing dance, film, spend time with family, meet new to people, etc. I’m thankful for my family. I can’t even put into words how much I cherish them; especially my new niece, Josie, she’s my favorite. Lastly, I’m thankful for God and everything he’s doing in my life and has done. Nothing in my life would be possible apart from him.
Oh, and one more: I’m thankful for the Cleveland Browns coaching staff. They’ve turned things around in Cleveland and I’m no longer in pain every Sunday. The Browns are actually winning this year, somehow. Ha. 🙂
Andy: In the past, when I have reflected on Thanksgiving (you know the great American past time of turkey-feasting) I’ve generally only paid lip service to what I was thankful for. And wow, that is pretty sad to type out; but the events of this past year have challenged my shallow “gratefulness” of the past. This year I found myself thankful for many wonderful things: my wife, my new son — Jude Thomas, and being blessed with opportunity and comfort in this great nation. I acknowledge that, these many blessings, have stemmed from a greater providence. It is humbling to witness the beauty of creation and the struggle to provide. But, going into this Thanksgiving and the upcoming new year, I know I am not alone, my family, friends and faith in God provide in abundance. I hope that I can continue to toil and give back to others and fight off apathy when is arises, so that I can fulfill my duty to family, God, and country.