Halloween has come and gone, and Christmas is just around the corner. But what about that holiday in between the two  the holiday where you eat until you feel like you might explode, where you watch the game all day and maybe spend time throwing the football around the yard?

Thanksgiving, right, that’s what it’s called!

But it seems that now, all Thanksgiving is to us is food, football and Charlie Brown specials.

Take a look at the name. Thanksgiving. Thanks. Giving. Thanks: short for thank you, meaning thankful. Giving: to others, of yourself, your time. But how thankful are you? Are you giving anything at all?

We have diverted from the true value of the holiday to merely the excitement of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, instead of reflecting on our past and where we are today.

But what are we thankful for today? Are we concentrating on the important things in our lives or just trivial and temporary pleasures?

If you ask someone what they’re most excited for, it’s almost always a halfway split between food and football. Seeing family is merely an afterthought. How have we gotten so far from things that should be more important in our lives, like the people or memories that surround us every day?

We need to make a move to bring Thanksgiving back to being a time for family and being thankful for what you have, not weighing the successes of the day on whether your team won or if the food was mouthwatering.

During Thanksgiving this year, try to focus more on your family. And don’t forget to pay attention to the little things; watch them smile, watch them laugh and listen to their stories.

My favorite part of every Thanksgiving is when we sit down before and after the meal to play board games. It can differ from playing Mexican Train to Catchphrase. Some of our best laughs have come from playing these games together. Especially word games with my grandma. She’s fully Mexican and still has some spanglish moments which make for a lot more fun. One of these moments was when my grandma was trying to portray bay leaves during a Catchphrase round and described everything except the spice. We all laughed for a solid five minutes.

Moments like these have caused me to grow more thankful for my time with my family after having to move 1,000 miles away. After growing up seeing them for every holiday and birthday, being away during the holidays is hard. The distance has made me more thankful for the time I do get to spend with them, and because I won’t be home this Thanksgiving, I cherish the moments I have with my family now.

Photo Credit: Andi Risk