Happy, Thanks & Giving


Up early, as I usually am these days, getting some to-dos done- even though I shouldn’t be working. (do as I say, not as I do LOL) But I had to stop and reflect on this day.

I loved the debate about when Christmas decorations should go up earlier this month as its my personal tradition to let my Christmas begin tomorrow and I feel very passionate about that – but first I’ll go on record saying I’m all for anyone decorating whenever they feel the spirit of Christmas. We need more of it in this world and who am I to judge anyone who doesn’t do as I do. (we need a lot more of THAT in this world too… but I digress…)

My reason to keep the two holidays separate is because of my family. My mom and dad divorced when I was very young and over the years Christmas was really my Dad’s holiday, but Thanksgiving was all about my mother. Some of my best memories of her are centered all around the preparations for this day and spending it with her and many times her side of a very large family. Being an only child, it was sometimes very overwhelming but had a huge impact on who I am today. While it’s been way too long since I was surrounded by all the amazing fun chaos of those days, or hugged her while she was putting in her 5th hour to make the perfect turkey, or sat and watched football with my step-dad Rodger… Those memories come flooding back along with all the reasons I am thankful today.

I particularly love this graphic as it reminds us that the words Happy Thanksgiving aren’t just an empty greeting we toss around today, but a reminder that these three little word should be the foundation of our attitude every day.

Happy – I truly am. I have a family I adore, made up of the family I was born/adopted into and many others who have become family, and recently discovered family. Along with my MEI family who inspires me and the communities who help me feel like I belong, which is something I have struggled with my entire life. I believe it’s important to set your sites on connecting to those people and things that bring happiness and not to be dragged down into whatever black hole of hate and intolerance that cross our path each day.

Thanks – My heart is full of gratitude for all the blessings around me. Along with the people, I am thankful for my health, especially after the challenges of the past couple of years. I know we all manage to get caught up in the things we don’t have at times, or things that are unfair, or being on the receiving end of the cruelty and malicious agendas of others – but I try to remember, and be thankful for what I do have. And while I didn’t hit the 2 billion lotto this year, I am rich in so many other ways that is a fortune beyond what money can buy.

Giving – We all have something others need. It could be as simple as a smile to a stranger as you walk down the sidewalk, a hug to a friend who has had a bad day, a phone call to connect to someone who hasn’t heard your voice in a while, a donation to a charity that struggles to fulfill its purpose to help others in need. Take a moment each day to give of yourself and everyone will be the better for it.

On this day of reflection, I am grateful for each one of you who keeps me company on my journeys and I hope you enjoy a day of connection, love, peace, and of course… awesome food… on this very special day.

And I hope you enjoy the pleasures of Happy, Thanks, and Giving every day.

PS… less than 24 hours before Christmas begins! (or after Santa’s sleigh passes Macy’s) Your choice.

Beci Mahnken is Chief Magic Maker at MEI-Travel & Mouse Fan Travel. With more than 23 years in the travel biz, she is a frequent guest on many travel and Disney community podcasts including WDW Radio, and partners with other great travel creators like LaughingPlace.com, AllEars.net and RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com. She was recognized by Travel + Leisure magazine as the Super A-List Agent for Disney travel and serves on their Earmarked Advisory Board. Beci has long worked with the Disney fan community to help support fan efforts and create high-profile events and has a passion for supporting deserving charities with a special emphasis on animal welfare efforts. She has a love for exploring history, ocean cruising, and river cruising and served on advisory boards for the prestigious GTM event and TravelAge West Magazine. Beci's dedicated to her craft of sharing the magic of travel with anyone who will listen.

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