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A Serving of Gratitude The Meaning of Thanksgiving
Last year, my family started a brand-new Thanksgiving tradition when we got tickets to the Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Day game. We watched the Cowboys play on TV every year before that, but it’s a unique experience to be in the stadium on Thanksgiving Day. It was really cool, and we had a great time. We really kicked off a new tradition — pun intended. Going to the game is an all-day event, so we do Thanksgiving dinner and such on Friday or Saturday now. Our extended family members are all Cowboys fans, so everyone is understanding. The great thing is that both my family and Tiffany’s family all live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We don’t have to drive or fly across the country to see everyone. Each year, I’m thankful I live so close to the rest of my family. We get to see each other frequently, and no one misses out on the holidays. I’ve always looked forward to Thanksgiving. When I was a kid, we’d go to my aunt and uncle’s house every year. These days, we alternate between spending Thanksgiving with my family or Tiffany’s family and switch for Christmas. When you’re kicked back with some pie and turkey, surrounded by the people you love, it highlights the good things in life. I really like the focus on gratitude that comes with Thanksgiving. There are so many things we take for granted, like having food on the table or a family waiting for you at home. Thanksgiving is a time to tap into that gratitude and start practicing it more often. It’s not just that we should count our blessings; research shows that practicing gratitude is great for your health.
There’s a famous study in which people were
instructed to write letters to someone they wanted to thank and deliver the letter in person.
Researchers found that not only did the people who received the letters show improvement, but the people writing and delivering the letters also experienced an increase in happiness. In addition to boosting your mood and mental health, a 2012 study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences reported that people who practice gratitude regularly experience fewer aches and pains, exercise more, and report feeling healthier than people who only think about gratitude around Thanksgiving. I am fortunate to have so many things to be thankful for each day. I’m thankful that my parents, my wife, and my daughters are all healthy; I’m thankful that I had a nice lunch and a job I love; I’m thankful that I work at a clinic with the best team in the world; and I’m thankful to all our clients who have supported us over the years. This year, whether you’re traveling across the country, having dinner in town, or watching the Cowboys play at AT&T Stadium, I hope you have plenty to be thankful for in your life, too.
Treating Your Pets Like Family
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