The LAST day.

Its the LAST day.

Although we try to be thankful year ’round, the whole month of November is the season of giving thanks in our home.  Every day I make my kids come up with something to share, something that they are thankful for, NO REPEATS. (I do it too, I don’t just torture my children.)

Life is what you make it, and the same applies to our holiday celebrations.

We could make Thanksgiving just about this:

And we do to a degree. Like most Americans, a huge Thanksgiving feast is a once-a-year deal that makes shopping for new (bigger) stretchy pants on Black Friday a tradition.

Or we could make it more about this:

The "First" Thanksgiving

The “First” Thanksgiving

…remembering those who came before us, the hardships they faced, the kindness of the Native people, and how all this ties into the history and culture of our great nation.

We could even make it just about this:

NFL Thanksgiving

NFL Thanksgiving

…because we are a football family, and what is Thanksgiving without the addition of a little pigskin?


But we don’t.

We try to do more. One of the BIG things that living with Juvenile Arthritis has taught us as a family is to make the most of what you have, whenever you can.

In the spirit of this concept, we make our Thanksgiving much, much more. Thanksgiving is the entire MONTH of November for us.

It seems like for most people, Thanksgiving gets squeezed out, awkwardly thrown in between Halloween and Christmas. This year it even had to share with Hanukkah! But, it is such a wonderful holiday on its own. We try to give it the attention it deserves, and make the whole month of November our Thanksgiving season.  We pause to give thanks for something, every single day. We try to pay it forward, every chance we get- to give someone else a chance at their surprising “thankful of the day” (meaning, I am holding a lot more doors open at the store for the person 10 steps behind me, and there are a lot more free coffees in the line behind me at Starbucks, if you know what I mean.) We take more time out of our schedules to volunteer, or participate in events with a purpose (like the Jingle Bell Run!) We work at making it the season of giving, and giving thanks, rather than a single day of gluttony, sports, paper pilgrim napkins, and dealing with the Turkey in the family.

But much like all other good things in life, it too must come to an end. Today is the last day of November.  Thanksgiving has had a whole month in our family, and December 1st will usher in the Christmas season, although many of the same concepts will apply. We will still work at being more thankful every day, but our focus will shift to the giving.Coming out of the “Thanksgiving season” it will be an easy transition. Last year for Christmas both my boys passed on almost all Christmas gifts for themselves, and used Christmas funds to help shelter animals. (You can read their story here, featured at the Missing Niche)  I can’t wait to see what they do this year. I’m a little wistful to let go of Thanksgiving, but I can look forward to beginning another wonderful Christmas season, and tomorrow that day will be here.

Before I go, I want to share my “thankful of the day” with you. The last day of the Thanksgiving season this year is also the last day of Nablopomo- the blog contest and challenge I took on this year, to write at least one quality blog post a day for the entire month of November. I can’t tell you how thankful I am that is done! I am also thankful that you all take time out of your day to come here, learn a little bit about Juvenile Arthritis, and share a piece of our lives. Time is valuable, and I appreciate your sharing yours with us. Have a wonderful “last day of Thanksgiving” today!





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  1. And now that Thanksgiving is over. We have Christmas and New Year’s Eve to prepare for.
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  2. I am in awe that you did it! And every post was interesting, thoughtful and well written. I assume you’ll take a few days off now? 😉
    Lene recently posted…Happy 8th Birthday, Tinks!My Profile

    • Thank you Lene! I tried my best! I’m going to keep up writing more frequently, but definitely not every day. You’ll be seeing me once a week on Everyday Health very soon too!

  3. Just wanted to say that I am very happy to have found your blog thanks to NaBloPoMo! You’re now bookmarked and I’ll be back regularly. Your family is amazing- I just can’t get over the things that your kids do for themselves and for their community. Impressive. And speaking of your kids, I must say that I had to smile when I read (a few posts back) that one of your son’s is a fan of Jerome Bettis and Ryan Clark. Being a Steeler fan living in Pittsburgh, that was pretty cool.
    I’m glad you kept up the NaBloPoMo! And I look forward to reading more. Enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving weekend.

    • Thanks Holly! I’m glad you found me, (and that you found me entertaining enough to visit again!) Since we know so many football players personally, we are more fans of the game, and fans of certain players, than fans of a particular team… its just funny that two of his chronic illness heroes played for Steelers! Who knows, maybe HE will get his chance there in about 8-9 years! Hope you enjoy the rest of your thanksgiving weekend too!

  4. I’m glad you stuck with NABLoPoMo! I’ve enjoyed reading your posts every day and purchased the ebook. It is huge to find someone that knows what I go through every day with a newly diagnosed child. It is also inspirational (and a testament to their upbringing) to see older JA kids that are considerate and helpful even with everything they’ve been through. Keep it up, Kim!
    Herchel S recently posted…Doh! A Deer a FEMALE Deer!My Profile

    • Aw, Thanks Herchel! The whole reason I started the blog and wrote the book is because I wished I’d had something like it to go to when my kids were newly diagnosed. I am very lucky to have such great boys too! I’m going to keep posting, but maybe not EVERY day now… whew!

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