Remember what you are thankful for

Karena Ozier, Columnist

It’s family and food season, the time when most families gather in one house, in one room to share a meal together for the Thanksgiving holiday. 

Along with eating turkey and other traditional dishes, we give thanks for what we have. 

Nearly a decade ago, my family on my dad’s side started the wonderful tradition of writing down what we are thankful for every year on a single-colored cloth napkin. 

Every year, when we add what we are currently thankful for, we can reminisce about what we have been thankful for in the past.

This napkin, although small, shows us how we’ve grown.

We celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas last week before my grandparents migrated to a warmer state for the winter. While looking at my napkin this year, I looked back to when I was thankful for 3 or 4 people. As years went on, I expanded on what I was thankful for. Instead of just being thankful for 3 or 4 people, I was then thankful for all of family and friends in general instead of specifying. 

I reflected on the meaning of generalizing family and friends into a broader category. Upon my reflection, I discovered that although being thankful for friends and family is broad, we seem to think of a few friends off the top of our heads that we truly are thankful for. 

These people have stuck out to us because of their importance in our lives, but why would we throw them into a category with all friends and family. Just because we don’t think of others first, it does not mean they are any less important to us. 

Each year when you add more family and friends in memory to the category, your category broadens. 

These napkins give us a way to look back at how we’ve grown. People that were part of our definition of family and friends before, may not hold that same importance to us now. 

We can reflect on the people who may have played a huge role in our lives then that now aren’t even thought of until we look at our napkin now.

Season to season, our friend and maybe even family definition changes, but that is OK. We are thankful for the people who are important to us and make our environment something to be thankful for.

We are blessed each year to have this opportunity to reflect and eat a wonderful meal with some of those people we think of.

Karena Ozier is a freshman elementary education major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]