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Letter from the Editor: Holiday offers opportunity to create atmosphere of thankgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving – a day dedicated to turkey, dressing, family and, of course, that warm appreciation for all the blessings we have been given throughout the year.
Yet tied up in the holiday is also the sober realization that, at times, thankfulness is more word than reality.
Hardship never recognizes a holiday calendar. Jobs are lost, loved ones become ill and leave us, bills demand paying, harsh words are spoken and cupboards lay bare no matter what the time of year.
It’s hard to be grateful for the sunshine when all you can see are clouds.
But the beauty of Thanksgiving is its dual splendor.
At it’s core, Thanksgiving is a matter of the heart and a reality. Every time a child wraps arms around a parent or friend, it’s a time of thanksgiving. Every morning as we open our eyes, once more ready to plunge back out into this crazy world of which we seem to have no control, it is a moment of thanksgiving,
We are thankful for roofs that keep the rain out; jackets and coats that protect us from the cold; friends that make us laugh even when we feel like crying; family that gather around us in a crisis; and a God that is ready, arms open wide, when we run to him.
And we are thankful for the chance to make a difference each and every day for those who seem to see only rain.
That is the second reality of Thanksgiving – it is truly so easy to make a difference in the lives around us, to give someone a reason to be thankful. It only takes a moment or two.
Most of us have been there – slogging through that tough, tough day, when a smile and a gentle word makes everything, just for a moment, so much better. It costs us little to slow down, appreciate the people around us, and lift them up when we can with smiles, humor and kindness.
There are also bountiful opportunities throughout the holidays to provide a more tangible blessing to those around us. This past weekend, local Boy Scouts gathered canned goods and more for our Jonesborough Area Ministerial Alliance to help with bare cupboards; and earlier this month, local radio station WCQR teamed with Second Harvest Food Bank to help listeners provide local families with a full Thanksgiving meal. Look for more opportunities throughout the holiday season and beyond.
Or provide a more personal touch. Invite a neighbor over for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Be ready to pull out a chair for one more guest when you see the opportunity. Take the time to visit an older couple or a family in need with a basket of goodies and the gift of your time.
Be part of the blessing in someone else’s Thanksgiving.
At the Herald & Tribune, one of the things we are so thankful for is the chance to be part of this thriving community nestled in the heart of Northeast Tennessee. We’ve seen, and reported on, your grace over and over again. This Thanksgiving, let us all vow to be a part of that grace. It will only make our blessings that much greater.
—Lisa Whaley, Executive Editor