The song says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” I think the majority of that lyric refers to the festivities that take place in December. It’s tough to beat presents under the tree and “much mistle-toeing.” But before all that fun and frolic commences, we all get the chance to take at least one day to give thanks for all the bountiful blessings each of us has. Not everything’s perfect in everybody’s life by any means, and far from it for many, but there does tend to be a great outpouring of goodwill on the fourth Thursday of November each year. And the food’s pretty darn good too.

So many Americans can name several things for which they’re thankful for as we celebrate the holiday this week. For starters, family, friends, football, Macy’s annual parade, no school, no hustle to the office (for most, anyhow), perhaps a scrumptious dessert or two, and just living in a country blessed with abundance. I hope your own personal list is long and loving.

If you think about it, most people, American or not, have something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Along that line, I thought it might be fun to take a look at some possible if not probable reasons to be grateful that came to mind as I considered certain people in the news.

One person at the top of the list is free agent Shohei Ohtani. I think he’d say he’s thankful that more than one Major League Baseball team owner still thinks he’s going to be able to hit AND pitch and are willing to pony up substantial cash to watch that happen.

With the SAG and Writer’s Guild strikes settled, Hollywood writers and actors are probably thankful they can go back to, respectively, getting paid for playing make-believe again, and putting words in other people’s mouths.

Staying with that theme, United Auto Workers are likely thankful they can go back to making cars again. Christmas was probably looking a little bleak during their strike.

How about world leaders? Donald Trump is no doubt thankful he probably won’t get indicted for anything on Thanksgiving Day. Why? The courts are closed. Ditto Joe Biden who may be equally thankful that Hunter Biden probably won’t get indicted for anything on the day of the holiday either. (The same may not hold true when it’s back to judicial business as usual on Black Friday but be thankful one day at a time.)

Vladimir Putin is undoubtedly very thankful he has total control of the Russian media. The general populace usually doesn’t get much news other than what Vlad “the Mad” wants them to know.

China’s Chairman Xi Jinping may be extremely thankful for a couple of things: that no other virology labs leaked any experimental potions that got too close to bats this year; and that Tik-Tok continues to mine social media data every day from a sizeable chunk of the population on the planet.

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy is surely thankful that much of the rest of the world can’t stand the Russian Czar. And North Korea’s Kim Jong-un is probably secure in his knowledge that his people love him more than food itself.

The Champion Texas Rangers have to be more than a little thankful they didn’t have to face either the Atlanta Braves or the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series. And all the LIX golfers must be ecstatic that they not only get to keep all that money they got for bolting the PGA, while still now getting to play on the professional tour.

Retailers across the country are no doubt thankful for the fact that inflation isn’t running totally amok again this year, and they don’t have to keep raising prices on a daily basis. (Currently, it seems to be only weekly.)

Undoubtedly Travis Kelce has got to be thankful these days. I mean think about it. As of this writing, Taylor Swift has not had to write a break-up song about him – at least not yet (and hopefully won’t have to).

As you gather to share a meal with whomever you’ve assembled, don’t forget that there are blessings to be found in many different places. Enjoy all those you have. And to make sure all goes well at any gathering, throughout this holiday weekend, keep this simple rule in mind: The only debate at any table should be whether the pumpkin pie or the pecan pie gets eaten first. There’s plenty of time the rest of the year to tackle other less tasty issues.

Happy Thanksgiving!

©MMXXIII. William J. Lewis, III – Freelance Writer