I strolled closer, pretending to check out the array of facial cleansers on the shelf while observing the ladies from the side of my eye. I did not mean to eavesdrop; all I wanted was to ask the blonde where she bought her onesie. But it was a Saturday morning, and the mall was quite crowded with weekend shoppers. It was almost impossible not to hear snippets of conversation here and there.

One of the girls said, "Sounds like a celebration to me."

The three girls laughed. Then the third, a redhead, chipped in: "My parents insist I come over, so I'll go. But I honestly do not see the point. We ought to scrap Thanksgiving this year."

If you also feel like we ought to scrap Thanksgiving this year, raise your hand. Raise it high above your head, and do not be shy. I will not judge you because I felt this way too. 2020 has, in many ways, been a horror movie no one saw coming.

The other day I was shocked to hear my neighbors rehearsing some carols as they mowed their lawn. It dawned on me that December is near (the end of the year!), and I am not sure how the time passed. It was just like "Yay, welcome to 2020," then crisis after crisis, and now we are almost done with the year.

1st January 2020 ushered in not just a new year but a new decade. I, for one, was pumped. I could not wait to watch the year unravel; I could not wait to see what it had in store for me. But when the unraveling began, I wanted it to stop. It was one lousy surprise after another. In case you have forgotten, let me remind you of a few, in no particular order:

- Protests in different countries of the world - for instance, the Hong Kong protest. The "Black Lives Matter" movement was also awakened.

- Increase in crime rate and violence worldwide.

- Wildfires, like in North America and Australia.

- Massive explosion in Beirut, Lebanon.

- The dynamics of American politics.

- COVID-19 -- the pandemic that has claimed millions of lives worldwide and the most significant occurrence of the year.

The above are but a very few of the items on the 2020 buffet. Many people have walked on eggshells all year long, unsure of what next to expect. Many gave up on dreams and lost all hope in a lot of things. Most nights, many slept on pillows damp with their tears -- tears of fear, helplessness, and exhaustion.

Your plans for the year may have gotten ruined one way or another. Maybe you lost people dear to you (and I am deeply sorry if you did). Perhaps you did not achieve all the goals you set out to achieve. But in my opinion, staying safe and sane could just be considered anyone's most significant achievement this year; every day you are privileged to see, you are a winner. Besides, despite all the chaos, there must have been some small wins. The year could not have been bad every second. If you take a hard, long look at yourself, you'll see that you had some form of breakthrough, no matter how small; it's just difficult to recognize the blessings when your dwell on the problems. For instance, those girls at the mall had great abs -- they ought to appreciate that!

This year, you should see Thanksgiving in a different and more meaningful light. And celebrate it with all the vigor you can muster. You managed to survive a nightmarishly scary year, and you have stories -- real stories from the first-hand experience -- to tell your children and grandchildren. You are a hero in your rights.

My advice? Go home to your family and friends, sit at a dinner table with the biggest, juiciest turkey, and take turns to recount your blessings. There is always a reason to be thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving! Take care, and God bless! Hugs!

Love Y’all!

P.S. I forgot to ask the blonde about her onesie!

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