Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.

Whereas the giving spirit of Christmas is mired by needless consumerism, Thanksgiving represents the best and truest parts of what it means to be human: to gather those friends and family in my life that I care about most, share a magnificent feast that we prepare together, and be given a chance to pause and be thankful for this amazing life we all have the opportunity to live.

It’s so easy to take our lives for granted. I appreciate the annual reminder.

This year, I decided to make a list of everyone in my life and write down a thing or two about each that I’m thankful for. The task has been extremely cathartic for me, because it’s such an easy thing to forget to consider when going about daily life.

When I paused for a moment and really got to thinking about each person, I was shocked at all that I come up with, how easy the task was, and how I felt afterward. Coworkers, friends, family – even people in my life that for one reason or another I’ve drawn issue with along the way – everyone had made some important impact in my life worth being thankful for. Mostly this list was drawn up for my eyes only in the early Thanksgiving dawn, but in some cases I’ve decided to share some of those insights.

I encourage you to do the same. There really is so much to be thankful for.

Have a happy Thanksgiving, all.