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As Thanksgiving Nears These Photos Remind There's No Greater Blessing Than Family

Photo of a family around the Thanksgiving table
There would be no argument from anyone these days that these are tumultuous, interesting and unquestionably scary times in the world. From the threat of nuclear war, to the political maelstrom swirling around the right and the left, to mass shootings and turbulent weather, there is unquestionable uncertainty and concern felt by many.

At the end of the month, however, residents of the United States will be celebrating their Thanksgiving. There is probably no better time to be reminded that despite the chaos there is still so much for which people can be thankful.

Always first on my list is family.  As we celebrated our Thanksgiving here last month (Canadians count their blessings in October) I looked around our dining table at my kids and the six beautiful grandchildren they have given me. The first of the latter came into our lives 18 years ago and it was like the already brilliant sun began to shine a little brighter. Becoming a grandparent was better than I could have imagined and I was eager for more little ones to join our family.

Our offspring, however,  were in no particular hurry it seemed. We waited almost 13 years before we were able to smile down on our second little sweetheart. Since then though our kids have stepped up their game and we are blessed to have six grandchildren in total now.

It is to them I go when life's miseries seem to be winning, when disasters and tragedies strive to engulf us. Only in a wonderful world, I remind myself,  could I be in a place where these little darlings are with me.

Photo of grandparents and grandchildren in the forest
Not that I don't have many things for which I'm grateful. I very much do. I live in one of the greatest countries with all the benefits that accompany that. I have health, employment and enough money. I have terrific friends, as well as supportive extended family members. And last, but most definitely not least, I have the pleasure of being married to one of the best guys I've ever known.

But, for me, and many others, all of that good can get weighted down from time to time. When a day is dark and dreary, when we've spent too much time listening to the headlines, when something nasty has come our way, we might need a lifeline to grab onto and stay positive. Thinking of my family and focussing on the endearing faces of my little grandchildren is sure to lift me. Every time.

On Nov. 23, Americans will have their turn to break from the regular workday routines and gather with family, to set aside woes and worries and celebrate the bounty that this life has brought.  In film the holiday is typically portrayed with people representing assorted relatives of diverse age as they prepare and descend upon the home of the family home. There is then, the house filled to the rafters with guests who congregate in the kitchen, around a laden dining table or in front of the television for football. The interactions are defined by teasing, laughter, love and, because it's Hollywood, some type of conflict.

Though the actual storyline might require a leap of faith, the message of this holiday is clear — surround yourself on this special season with the people who know you best and love you anyway. From them the inspiration to find, and focus on,  all of the blessings that come your way will thrive.

Since most would agree that family is the most important thing any time of year,  but certainly during the festive season,  we offer this collection of wonderful photos depicting that subject in all of its amazing  configurations:

iPHOTOS.com Pictures of Family

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