2017 wasn’t exactly a banner year. A close family member committed suicide. A friend of 25 years died from complications brought on by liver failure when he couldn’t get an organ transplant in time. Both of these things combined with the generally crappy nature of the world caused a crisis for me that I had to get counseling and medication for. Due to the stigma that goes along with treating mental health I haven’t even been able to discuss this in a public way before now.

All of those things have caused me to take stock of my blessings, which is something that’s useful to do at any time regardless of your situation. It’s easy to say “things could always be worse” but it’s much harder to say “I’ve got a lot to be thankful for.” In 2017 I’m very thankful for the friends I still have, and I know with each year that passes I need to tell them that, because you never know when you won’t get another chance to. I’m thankful that both of my parents are still around for me to enjoy another holiday season with, and hopefully many more to come. I’m thankful to all of the readers of this website, all of the great people who contribute to it, and to the readers of all the others that I contribute to in some form or fashion. Most of all I’m thankful to my lovely wife and my fat obnoxious cat, both of whom love me unconditionally and accept me as I am quirks and all. To all of those people thank you thank you THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.

I realize Thanksgiving is a pretty s—ty holiday for a lot of people. The original custodians of this land we call the United States got the rawest of raw deals once European settlers brought war and disease to this continent. The people forcibly imported into this country in chains had little reason to “give thanks” and their ancestors are still getting a raw deal in a racist society today. And even the people with white privilege may not have it so good if Thanksgiving means dealing with cranky overbearing relatives who drink too much and talk too loudly. Somehow though when I need cheering up Peanuts holiday specials always strike a chord. Even with their Christian overtones and unapologetically Eurocentric point-of-view, they are still charming in their own way.

Take the time this week to celebrate the ones you love whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not.