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Middle School essay winner
Elizabeth Baker
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Thanksgiving is a day in which we are supposed to set aside our glass-half-empty attitudes and be thankful for everything we have. I t is a day to remember the kindness of our fellows and everything we have been given. Americans trace this holiday back to a time when people depended on each other for survival and communities were close-knit families.

Thanksgiving is not a holiday to be selfish upon, but to give thanks to the people who have helped us throughout the year and to be grateful for what we have, not to dwell on what we want.

On Thanksgiving Day, I am most thankful for having a home. Having someplace to call your own is something millions of people take for granted, and I used to be one of those people. I used to look at the strong walls around me and not give them a passing glance, and for that I am regretful. Now, after almost losing those walls and my drafty room,

I know better than to think that my house can’t be gone in the blink of an eye.

The struggle with bills and life is something many Americans are familiar with, but I have a new perspective on what to be thankful for now that I am under the threat of losing it. I know now that having a home is far more important than a cellphone or going on field trips. I know that all the years my family and I have spent on this house cannot be replaced and would be worth nothing if suddenly we were on the streets, with nowhere to go but to close family. Now, I look at my home through new eyes. When my room is cold because of cracks in the outside doors, I think of how cold it would be if there were no doors between me and the Fall chill. When the car won’t start, the sewage won’t drain, and the water company doesn’t know how to extend deadlines, I think how lucky I am to be worrying about these things and not about how to walk so far in one day or how to get my next meal. Having a home is like having a safe haven to go back to at the end of the day. There will be hardships in everyone’s lives, but having a home makes things easier. Having one lets me know that my family and I will be OK, that we’ll pull through. The stable walls around me that I have lived with for over a decade now and will always be a part of me, and that’s why having a home is what I think of on the one day in the year that we all remember we have something to be thankful for.