Keep giving thanks all year round

On Thursday, thousands of Northeast Michiganders enjoyed festive turkey dinners with all the fixings, viewed holiday parades, football games, favorite movies, thumbed through newspaper advertisements and catalogs for gift ideas, or conducted long-distance telephone calls or Zoom conversations.

Some began to display their outdoor Christmas and Hanukkah lights and decorations.

Many took time to give prayerful thanks for dear friends and family members, those in public safety, health care, education, caregivers, members of the military, retail and related occupations, those who provide utilities to our residences and businesses, transportation personnel who get hundreds of thousands of items from point A to point B, community volunteers, and dozens of other worthy professions.

This evening, the annual Bolenz Jewelry Holiday Parade will again wow onlookers.

Alpena’s downtown Christmas tree will become aglow. Santa will begin greeting children, each with their wish list.

That all comes to a personal observation and recommendations.

You have a year-round opportunity to continue giving thanks, versus a one-day event.

Here are some guidelines to assist you:

∫ With family, friends, or coworkers, put aside discussing any social, political, religious, or related topics. Just respect each other’s stand — period.

∫ Accept our country is diverse, with various nationalities and countries of origin, numerous faiths, a variety languages, sexual orientations, people with special needs, and related aspects.

The odds are that, if you accept those guidelines, you will not get caught in meaningless debates and conversations causing divisive relationships.

Finally, an often-overlooked phrase to share with family, friends, and special others; “I love you and I’m pleased you are in my life”.

Some may feel uncomfortable saying that phrase.

However, in my opinion, it is an opportunity to bond a solid, long-lasting relationship. When I say that, I mean it 110%.

I learned that from my dear parents, Ruth and Buzz (Harold).

Have a great holiday season and 2023.

Jeffrey D. Brasie is retired health care CEO and frequently writes op-eds and feature stories. He is a former Alpena resident and resides in suburban Detroit.


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