How satisfying to celebrate Thanksgiving almost free of the constraints that have held our holidays captive for the past two and one-half years! While many are still cautious, most of us will gather for Thanksgiving dinner without masks, hand sanitizers, and measured 6’ distances.

The “Zoom” Thanksgiving dinner will finally become a memory to chuckle over in Thanksgivings to come.  And so with hope and gratitude, I extend a sincere holiday message to each of you: However you and yours choose to be thankful this year, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

Between the long legacy of a COVID pandemic and the acute political divisiveness of the recent election cycle, many of us are entering this holiday feeling weary and slightly disoriented, but immensely grateful for a restful interlude. I encourage each of us to enjoy the Thanksgiving break as a “time out” of sorts, a time to treasure family and friends on a personal level. Eat lots of turkey or tofu; go for a hike; play with the dog; watch the Ravens beat the Jaguars; or enjoy the comfort of old movies in your pajamas with a quart sized bowl of buttered popcorn on your lap.  For a few days, just enjoy being alive, alert, and enthusiastic.

Whatever your family’s Thanksgiving Day traditions might be, I hope your day is joyful and fulfilling, a time to be well fed and well sustained by the love and fellowship of friends and family. How much easier it will then be to return on the following Monday, rested and ready to sprint to the end of the semester.