by Dave Markwell

The day after Thanksgiving is a good day. Glorious leftovers create opportunities for many different sandwich combinations: ham and stuffing, turkey and mashed potatoes with a deviled egg, ham and turkey with cranberries and corn. The choices are only limited by one’s imagination. I have a good imagination and will be eating some good sandwiches. I love this day.

The day after Thanksgiving marks the beginning of a wonderful month. The space between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a special time. It is a time when the world feels the way it should feel all the time. Love and charity and gratitude fill our hearts as we share our time with the people we care for the most. Good friends and family are showcased as we attend holiday parties and consider perfect gift choices. We step away from self-focus and think about others. We are more grateful and kinder.

Through twinkling lights and Christmas music, we remember our past. We feel the sweet anticipation of youth and we reflect on where we’ve been and where we are and who we have in our lives that make it beautiful. We let the future wait until after New Year.

“Living in the moment” have largely become buzzwords, but for one month, especially when one reaches a certain age, the value of the moment is clear. We are warmed by memories of our moments with loved ones who have passed on and our little ones who are no longer little. We see our lives through the kaleidoscope of timeless sights and sounds. And we like what we see.

So, today my car radio will sing about Rudolph, Frosty and Silent Nights. The chilly air will smell like morning walks to school through my childhood neighborhood with my excited friends discussing our Christmas lists. I will make sandwiches and I will speak kindly to those who deserve my kindest words. It’s a magic month and I will share whatever magic I possess with the people living on or crossing my path. I will enjoy the magic of others. I will accept every smile and hug with an open heart and I will give and love and laugh and remember. I will do this after I enjoy my first leftover sandwich of the day, if I can only decide which delicious options to put on it…

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, whose first book is called “A Feel Good Life” (makes a GREAT GIFT – buy it on Amazon here). Dave also extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, you can “friend” Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland Fitness!]

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