We all have so much to appreciate, every day. These are the things that brightened up your life:

From Jean Sullivan in Texas

I am most thankful for the health of my family! If you have this you are lucky, because the stock market, job loss, and the other problems of the world pale in comparison to ill health.

We have made it thru another year will no big surprises. The best thing that has happened to me personally this year is a brand new hip. I was hit by a car at the age of 9 & now at 57, have a better hip than I have had in many years!

Steve Williams tells us

If you’re talking about financial situations, here’s one:

I got an opportunity to buy a house that my wife really loved at a greatly reduced rate back in May and needed the money quick. I took $145,000 out of mutual funds, knowing I had 60 days to roll it over.

I was planning to put it back in the same mutual funds but decided instead to go with a simple IRA at the credit union paying about 3.5%.

The remaining $7,600 I left in the mutual funds is now worth $4,000 while the $145,000 I rolled over into the IRA is earning about $500 a month. I can only imagine how folks are feeling as they watch their
retirement funds dwindle.

I was fortunate to sell my house at approximately the same time (also at a greatly reduced rate) so I’m giving thanks for my financial stroke of luck X 2.

If you’re not talking financial, I give thanks for my family.

Katyna McGill life is filled with blessing this year:

I’m grateful for many things this year. God has done some things for me this year that I never thought would be.

I’m thankful for my place of worship and the leaders there. They are my family and friends. They have helped me get up, stand up, and get moving with my life.

My 4-yr old had a botched circumcision at birth. The surgery was successfully corrected this spring.

I went on a business trip to Dallas which worked out for me to see a cousin that I’ve been e-mailing for years. On that same trip I saw my dad and sisters. I was able to see my oldest sister for the very first time-she’s 39.

Despite the negativity all around concerning the housing market, I bought my first home in September 2008.

I’m 36 today and my stepfather who raised us had been trying to reach me. I thought that was strange since he left without warning when I was 14. I spoke to him a few weeks ago and he asked to see his grandchildren and plans to spend Thanksgiving with us.

I hadn’t seen or heard from my middle brother since 2001. My husband ran into him and we’ve been in touch ever since.

God has truly been good to me in 2008.

Michelle Dail in Virginia has had an awesome year!

Of course I am very grateful for my wonderful family and the many blessings that comes with it. I am also very grateful that at least at the moment my husband is still employed. (He works for a GM dealership!) But most of all,


Stephen P. Arkulary in Minnesota has true naches (joy and generated by your children or grandchildren)

I was mentioning to my wife the other night that I cherish the holiday season more and more as long as we may enjoy our children.

My son is 500 miles away from home in Council Bluffs Iowa, just finished up with working day and night getting our new president elected. When things got really tough in order to deliver the one Democratic Electoral vote from Omaha Nebraska, that has not been done since 1964. I would remind him that he was right in the middle of a defining moment in the history of our country, our Constitution that has stood stronger and longer than any other democracy need a lot of new wisdom. His hard work on the campaign may give us the opportunity to restore the constitution back to the more pure form that it originally served.

I am also very proud of my daughter who is(embroiled) right in the middle of the recount going on in the U.S. Senate race here in Minnesota. How could an election come out so close .03 of 1%. My daughter was in charge of the get out to vote rally for the entire University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She was totally exhausted after the election, meeting with Constitutional lawyers for hours on end because of rules that may have favored one candidate over the other. We’ll see how her candidate comes out. A victory has a thousand parents and a loss is but an orphan in history.

I am so thankful that these two kids have the desire and willingness to stand up on their own based on their beliefs. I hope everybody has their children taking a place on their heroes list!

Mary Fran McCluskey, EA in California lives on a positive note – always

I feel good about my husband and I getting along so well together.

About my beautiful daughter passing her diplome this year and having a going music career in Europe.
About her and her girlfriend Clara spending part of our Clearlake vacation together this year.
About the wonderful family reunion my side of the family had in Switzerland for Molly’s concert.
About my son Ted’s new career in EMT and his having so many friends.
About having such great friends, old and new.

About my new little guinea pig girls Gingerpuff and Miss Muffet (Puffy and Muffy).
About being good enough in Spanish to do taxes. (I’m giving a talk in Spanish about taxes in foreclosure for Catholic Charities!)
About finally getting my EA.
About my great tax buddies in CSTC and CSATP. (I’ll be singing at the Christmas party).
About my holiday job delivering packages for UPS (just call me “Buff”).

About setting up shop this tax season in San Rafael year round.
About the fact that the self-employed can never be laid off.

Lucie Sample, EA in San Diego, who’s been my friend since high school has perspective

This happened to me 21 years ago but I’m still grateful.

I liked my job. I worked in a CPA office that specialized in personal service corporations (doctors, lawyers, etc.) and tax. I had worked there for several years, and I thought I’d remain there for several more years. Boy, was I wrong! One fine Fall day the boss decided to fire me.

At first I was devastated. After all, I was the sole support of my family, and jobs weren’t that easy to come by. I went home and talked it over with my husband, who was extremely supportive. We decided that I should open my own tax and bookkeeping practice, doing the same things I had been doing for the CPA. Only this time, I’d be the boss.

So I took the EA exam, passed, and printed business cards. Then I wrote letters announcing my new business and sent them out to everyone I knew. I bought a computer (this was 1987, after all!) and converted the spare bedroom into an office. Well, the practice grew, and soon I was making as much money as before but only working half the time.

If my boss hadn’t fired me, I never would’ve had the gumption to strike out on my own. So, this Thanksgiving, 21 years after my boss gave me that swift kick in the pants, I can truly say to him, “Thank you. Thank you for letting me go. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

One door closes, and another opens. We just have to be ready to walk through it.

You also have good and special things that have happened in your life this year. Or have come to appreciate that something you thought was a disaster has turned into such a blessing. Feel free to share.