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Note: I know there are many people out there truly suffering this Thanksgiving — this post is not for you. A change of perspective won’t mitigate your very real grief. Please know that the prayers and empathy of many, many people are with you this holiday season. Take care of yourselves!

Blessing myopia: The inability to see all the marvelous gifts in our lives because we are too focused on negative things that occlude our vision. I’ve certainly been guilty of this lack of awareness. Maybe you have, too? This Thanksgiving, let’s shift our focus a bit.

There’s lint in my pockets
but no holes, and my boots
(battered, worn) will last
another season. If I cut the frayed bits
off my jacket, no one will be the wiser.
I am fed, filled. I sink into bed
(the mattress little more than
dust mites tightly holding tentacles)
and sleep warm and well.
When I am cold, the cat comes
to sit; no blanket could be better.
There is sun somewhere,
even if I can’t see it.
It will rise and set predictably.
The clock of my life will tick.
The sound will fill the hollow places,
joy will change the plain days
into something rather lovely.
Ordinary life will stop my breath
with surprise, and daily my heart
will croon.

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You’ve heard it before:
that tale about the two sisters.
One relevant moment with a fairy and wham! —
Each time they open their mouths, out fly judgments:
Flowers and jewels for the good sister,
snakes and stones for the bad one.
Let us forsake the topic of practicality:
You could chip a tooth on a ruby,
not to mention choking on a toad.

I have lived this story and so have you.
When I breathe a discordant word,
I might as well expel an asp.
But put words of thanks on my lips,
and suddenly —
a spray of petals, bright diamonds,
a shining array of good and gracious.

It is time to decide your gifts:
Which sister will you be?
For me, I give thanks:
for shoes in the closet,
for heat in my home,
for food so plentiful,
I think of dieting.

O God, O Provider of all,
make of my words
all that is precious,
all that is holy:
May I return to you your gifts
in rose-hushed prayer
and sparkling praise.

Have a Mary Little Christmas

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