giving thanks (that i'm not at the mall)

first of all, what would thanksgiving be without the gratefulness? i mean, besides the highly commercialized, eat-till-you-puke-and-then-eat-some-more, day before the busiest shopping day of the season? riiiiiiight.

this year, i think i am more aware of the numerous blessings in my life than ever. if you think about it, everything that you have or don't have can be a blessing - even if you don't know it at the time. i am thankful first and foremost for my health and sanity. and for my family: captain crotch, punkin, my mom, my dad, my in-laws who are lovingly taking punkin for the weekend. i am very thankful and humbled by my good friends. i am grateful that we have food in the pantry and fridge, that we have a solid roof over our heads, and even that we have car payments and a house note (and more so that we can usually pay them). i am thankful that i am annoyed every tuesday and thursday by a bunch of teenagers that could care less about the classes i teach. i am grateful for the courageous people who give me the honor of helping them with their problems. the bulk of my thanks goes to God and His unconditional love for me. He has changed my life in so many ways - sometimes i didn't know if i was coming or going. but He never left me alone. never.

so, as the busiest shopping day of the season comes to an end (without setting foot in a store!), i look forward to hauling home a tree and practicing the utmost constraint as punkin decorates it unsymmetrically. i look forward to wrapping gifts and putting them under the tree. getting all the boxes out of the closet and decorating the inside of the house. snickering quietly as punkin makes captain crotch put lights up outside this year (she's very persuasive). taking the traditional drive to look at the lights in the rich neighborhood. watching punkin sing in her holiday program. watching her eyes twinkle and her precious smile as the day draws near. baking the birthday cake and singing "happy birthday" to Jesus. and if there's a couple of material gifts thrown in there for me, that would make my already overflowing cup runneth over a little bit more.

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