We are nearing Thanksgiving which is such a wonderful time of year. We have so much to be thankful for. It is the perfect time of year to reflect on our lives and think about all the beautiful gifts we have received over the past year. The gifts of joy, happiness, and peace are certainly overlooked quite a bit but are so worth giving thanks for. Or, maybe some hardship over the past year has brought your family closer. Maybe the dark cloud following you around has finally lifted bringing you to a place of peace within yourself, God, the universe, family and friends. This kind of transformation is certainly something to be thankful for!

My family tradition on Thanksgiving starts with my husband cooking an amazing meal for our family and friends. We gather around with a prayer before dinner thanking God for this food, our family, friends, our work, health, and freedom. We open our hearts as we pray for those who are sick, suffering, hungry, abused, and alone.

After dinner we all gather around playing games. My mother loves Bingo. She has had Alzheimer’s for 7 years now but still loves to play with some assistance. She also loves when my Dad and I play the piano and everyone gathers around singing Christmas carols. It is such a special time being with our family and friends. I feel so THANKFUL and blessed my mom can still be apart of this occasion. Watching her sing, dance, and celebrate brings tears of joy to our eyes. I am not sure how much longer we have enjoying this Holiday with her, but these are memories that will be cherished for the rest of our lives!

James 1:17, ESV Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

Melissa Samartano, PhD., LMHC, RYT