Counting Our Blessings
By John Norberg, Humorist s

The countdowns are on!

As I write this there are only 37 more shopping days until Christmas!

The Christmas shopping days countdown makes a lot of people nervous. But, not me. The way I see it, I still have 36 days to relax and enjoy the holidays before I need to go to the stores and do my shopping on Christmas Eve.

The countdown of shopping days before Christmas has been going on for many years. But lately I'm seeing a lot of additional countdowns.

For example, is sending out a countdown to Black Friday – the big shopping day right after Thanksgiving. The number as I write this is 11.

And then there's the countdown for the number of days until Cyber Monday after Thanksgiving break when people go back to work and order gifts on line: Only 14 days left for that one.

Here's another countdown we should consider. There are only 9 more diet days before Thanksgiving and the five weeks of overeating that follow. If you're going to lose any weight, you have just 9 more days to do it.

Thanksgiving is my favorite day of the year.

What's not to love about it? It's a day of food, football and family. Thanksgiving is a beginning. When it's finished it launches the start of a month of festivities running through New Year's Day when there's even more food, football and family.

My love for this time of year was on my mind when I heard about the "30 Days of Thanksgiving" project.

Me: "Have you heard about people celebrating the 30 Days of Thanksgiving? Instead of doing Thanksgiving on just one day in November, people are doing it every day in November. This is the greatest idea I've ever heard."

Wife: "You do understand that the '30 Days of Thanksgiving' means you're supposed to give thanks for all your blessings every day of this month. It doesn't mean you're supposed to eat turkey and stuffing and watch football for 30 straight days."

It just goes to show you, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Years ago our youngest child learned in Sunday School that during their first winter in the new world the Pilgrims nearly starved and lived on a daily ration of five kernels of corn. So, before our Thanksgiving feast that year we put five kernels of corn on each plate and everyone had to name five things they were thankful for.

Of course Thanksgiving is a time of big family gatherings. There were 12 people at the table. We each gave the first thing we were thankful for, then the second and so on. No one wanted to repeat what someone else had already said.

And by the time we had given thanks for 48 different things, thinking up something new got a little tough.

That was the year our sister-in-law said she was thankful she was pregnant with twins. My wife followed that by saying she was thankful she was not!

Well, it's a wonderful time of year and we do have a lot of blessings to be thankful for. And the holiday season got off to quite a start this week with the ground covered in snow and temperatures more normal for January than November.

Winter has made its early arrival.

Which made me think about another countdown that is far more meaningful to me than the number of shopping days until Christmas.

There are only 123 more days until spring.

You can follow John's columns at

Copyright@John Norberg