I prefer Thanksgiving to Christmas.
At least, I prefer the spirit of Thanksgiving, of expressing thanks and gratitude and joy, to the consumer-driven craze Christmas has become. Don’t get me wrong: I love presents, giving and receiving, and I love decorations and pretty lights. I love holiday food and cookies galore. I can’t wait to see Violet’s visit with Santa this year. And, I LOVE hosting my annual holiday gift guide and being able to give away tons of presents to the dogs, cats, and pet people who make this space a community.
I love lots of Christmas things, but Thanksgiving holds a special place in my heart.
“Gratitude turns what we have into enough.” – Anonymous
I’m so deeply grateful for what I have. I’m grateful for the life I’ve built. So, for this week of thanks, before the Black Friday madness begins (coincidentally, of course, when my gift guide launches… which makes me feel a bit hypocritical… but I’d rather frame it as my annual way of giving back to this space…) I wanted to share a handful of things for which I’m immensely grateful. Starting with:
I’m so grateful you’re here. I’m so grateful you’re willing to share your time and your pets with us in this space. It’s incredibly easy to feel lonely in this world, and this space gives those of us who are obsessed with pets a place to hang, share stories and tips, and appreciate the incredible bond we have with our animals. I realize that a blog often feels one sided, which is why I recently launched a Facebook discussion group to make this more conversational. But, I’m just so grateful that this is a positive space filled with a shared love of animals. So, thank you for being here, and thank you for being you.
OMG, you guys. This dog. He rocks an Elf Elmo costume (stay tuned for the gift guide because I can’t even with this one), takes a million kisses and stickers from Violet, puts up with the cats thwacking him (though he pummels them right back), deals with being the official product tester for this site with aplomb, runs miles and miles and miles or just snoozes, hangs out with me all day, snuggles like a champ… I mean, he’s just the greatest. No, he’s not perfect. And that’s OK. He’s really flipping fantastic just as he is. I’m so, so grateful for him every single day.
Violet’s Birth Mama.
Violet turned our hearts and our lives inside out in the most amazing, breathtaking, astonish way possible. She brings magic wherever she goes. She’s strong-willed and opinionated and bossy, which can be… challenging…, but she’s also a kind friend and an animal lover and an absolute clown. She brings us joy in magnitudes of an epic scale. Without her birth mama and her compassionate choice to place Violet for adoption, we wouldn’t have this fierce love for which I’m thankful every second of every day… even the seconds when Violet is hucking her burrito across the room because she’s overly tired and wanted the purple spoon, not the green spoon. All of it. Violet’s birth mom is one of the most special and important people in our lives, and we’re forever grateful to her and for her.
John and Violet.
No words. Just a deep, bottomless well of love and gratitude.
My cats are hilarious. I think all cats probably are in their own ways. Newt and Ripley are a comedy duo who deserve their own late-night talk show. Neither cat joined our family in a planned, purposeful sort of way. And yet, they’ve both brought exactly what we were missing: Newt, an unending supply of sarcasm (voiced by us, obvi) and the occasional heart-melting snuggle; Ripley, an acrobatic circus of play that’s keeping Newt young, plus a nonstop purring-and-rubbing lovefest that could win over even the most strident non-cat-person. You’re the perfect cats for Cooper and the perfect cats for Violet. I’ll be even MORE grateful if you leave the Christmas tree alone this year… worth a shot…
There’s so, so much else: access to healthy food, a reliable car, wonderful friends IRL and online who lift me up, an incredible preschool where Violet thrives, organic wine, our public library, parents willing to jump in and help whenever we need it, long walks in the woods, Tagalongs, this list could go on.
All this to say: Thank you. I’m grateful for so much in my life, and a big part of that is right here.
What are you grateful for? If you’re in the US, I wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving!