chainsaw_header“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… everywhere you go! Take a look in the Five & Ten, glistening once again, with candy canes and silver lanes aglow, oh oh. It’s beginning to look a lot like…” NO, NO and hell NO! You can stop that mess right now! It is NOT beginning to look a lot like… okay actually it kinda is… but it shouldn’t be! Now get off my lawn before I break out the hose. John Q. (my yellow stuffed-bear side-kick) I swear to gawd, you take that figgy pudding back in the house right this instant, mister!!!

(Lyrics excerpted from “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas”. Written in 1951 by Meredith Willson, performed by various artists over the years and brought to a grinding halt by yours truly.)

Premature carolers be damned and deniability (due to sanity) aside, it’s true. What many consider “the most wonderful time of the year” is rapidly encroaching and being shoved down our throats (we’ll delve into that more next week), with Thanksgiving overlooked, ignored, forgotten and reduced to merely a meal that fuels you up for football and Black Friday. So excited are we for the “Season of Getting” we oft overlook the “Season of Giving” thanks for what we’ve already got.

Have we really reached a point in our pointless society that a simple “thanks” is too much to ask? Is it that hard to look around and appreciate all life has given us? Are we too proud to humble ourselves enough to acknowledge a need for thankful graciousness? Can we not stop for one month, one day, one minute to set aside a moment to be thankful?

That’s all really it takes — just a moment.

Before you start decking the halls, or amidst this year’s decking (some folks decorate way too early) I implore you, dear reader, to pause for but a moment, and be thankful. It doesn’t have to have a set time unless you want it to. Being thankful can happen all day long.

You don’t have to challenge yourself for 30 days, because it only takes 30 minutes (one per day). Nor will you require a special calendar to display all your thanks for the world to see. You don’t even have to write it down (unless you’re forgetful) or post it on social media. Honestly, who gives a shidookie if people like what they’re thankful for? Unless directed directly towards another individual, your thanks are between you and life. You don’t even have to say it out loud ­— life can hear your thoughts.

So now, what to be thankful for? Well let’s start with the basics: family, friends, gainful employment, food to eat and a place to call home. But what if you’re homeless, hungry, unemployed, have no friends and your family disowned you? Well first of all, yikes and sorry, but if that’s the case we simply get more basic.

You picked up this paper, are holding and reading it now. Ergo be thankful you can walk (or at least get around). Be thankful you have hands to hold, have eyes to see, can read, comprehend and are literate. If none of these apply, then be thankful for the person or technology that allowed this to be shared with you.

If need be, we go to bottom of the barrel basics. You woke up! You can breathe! You’re alive! And if you didn’t, you can’t and you’re not, then I am the one who is eternally thankful — for your patronage beyond the grave. No matter what your situation or state of being, there is undeniably something to be thankful for.

Look, I know better than most that life can suck. Sometimes it can seem that the suckiness level far exceeds any degree or desire for thankfulness. Here’s the thing. You are alive, and if that’s not worth being thankful for let’s take it a step further.

Whether you realize it, admit it or not, there’s a reason you keep on being alive. There has to be a person, place, thing, hope, dream or just a thought that keeps you keeping on. If not you wouldn’t. The idea is to find that one thing and one thing will lead to another. Find it, be thankful for it and start from there.

I welcome almost all questions, comments via FOCUS, or E-mail me at [email protected]. Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused! See ya.