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As I woke up today, I found myself inspired by an oddity - partly created out of my own situation, as it's my first thanksgiving that I don't return home for.

It is with today's state of the economy, the year in general being rough, and the nature of the time's that have inspired an epiphany of mine. I live with 3 other people in an apartment outside of Seattle, and three of us have family living in Texas. One of my roommates decided to leave with his wife (two of the roommates) to go back home for Thanksgiving, and when my mother called and asked if I wanted to come home for Thanksgiving on her ticket, I opted out and said no - because I knew my friend (who is the only home-grown Texan in our group) would be stranded here eating only Ramen for Turkey day, and has missed Texas since we moved up here (he complains it's too cold).

Now, it's been a particularly brutal year on our group - in fact the only one of us whose maintained a steady job this year has been the roommate staying here in Seattle with me, and he has pretty much been the sole reason we've stayed afloat. Being a Marine reservist currently, he's also served time in Iraq and it's from this that he says holidays lost their meaning to him due to the nature of patrols in that situation.

Why do I tell you this? Why is it relevant at all? It might be just me and my generation, but maybe we all have lost touched with what the holidays are about - and I don't mean the literal 'giving thanks' part. Just like my Marine roommate, they have lost their meaning. Nor do I think it's about eating a lot of food.

What I've personally discovered Thanksgiving to be - and believe me, it was quite a startling epiphany for me, is that it's about that inch. It's one of those things that you should never give up, never pass over. You can give up everything, save those things that make up that one little inch that comprise your spirit and attitude on things, and you cling to it for all that it's worth. Take my job, take my money, take everything, but you will never get that inch.

It isn't about the cooking, it isn't about the food, it isn't about being grateful, it's about having a candle in the darkness to give you hope for a better tomorrow. About feasting precisely because times have been hard and you've made it through the year and you can make it through the next - just like the Pilgrims. In short, it's about maintaining morale. Savor this year's thanksgiving, it may be the most needed, most valuable thanksgiving we have ever or will ever live through, it's the year we say to hell with you and your bad economy, we are sticking to our guns.
 

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Morale is definitely a strong ally to have these days, as is your marine friend. Please thank him for his service for me.
 
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