Briggs: From Clark Gable to goofy pets, local folks talk about the 'weird' things they're thankful for

Thanksgiving is about expressing our gratitude for the important things in life — family, faith and having a roof over your head. But why not give thanks for the unusual things that put a smile on your face?

back then thanksgiving
We're all grateful for the big things, but this Thanksgiving, some people are expressing gratitude for the weird things that make them smile, like watching an old movie in their pajamas. iStock / Special to The Forum
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Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! What’s not to like about a holiday filled with delicious food, family, friends and a little football (if that’s what you’re into)?

When you ask people in the U.S. this time of year (and really, any time of year) what they are most grateful for, chances are they’ll say their health, people to love who love them back, and that they live in a nice place.

Of course, that’s what I’m probably most grateful for, too. But I wanted to dig a little deeper with everyone this holiday season. So I asked some friends on Facebook the following question:

“What are the weird or slightly quirky things you’re grateful for?”

"Back Then with Tracy Briggs"
Tracy Briggs


I gave them a few of my examples off the top of my head:

  • I'm grateful for the movie "White Christmas," which makes me smile every stinking time I watch it. It makes me think of Christmas with my mom, dad, sister and brother.

  • I'm grateful for Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford and Sandra Bullock, whose movies always entertain me.

  • I'm grateful for dark chocolate sea salt caramels, the world's most perfect food.

  • I'm grateful for the feeling I get when I see my "low tire" light go off after I fill my tires with air. It makes me feel like such a grown-up.

You get the drill. I was absolutely delighted with the responses I received. I’m just sorry I don’t have the space to include all of them.
But here are a select few. Thanks, everyone!

  • I am thankful for people who make chocolate chip cookies and use milk chocolate chips. I am thankful for whipped cream on hot chocolate made with milk (never ever water). I am thankful for all things yellow. — Missy Daul Youngs.
  • I’m thankful for silly orange cats who keep me entertained and in turn help me entertain others on Facebook. We all need these fuzzy, purring distractions! — Teresa Norwig.

  • I’m grateful for the recipes that my family created and passed down — especially this time of year! — Emma Vatnsdal.

  • I am grateful for cold winter nights when you turn on an old classic movie that has Cary Grant, Clark Gable, Lee Marvin in it. All the old greats of Hollywood. You put on your flannel jammies, make some popcorn and I am in absolute heaven — Beth Quesnell Bouley.

backthen thanksgiving
Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Bob Hope and David Niven in 1959, laughing because they knew how grateful people would be one day to cuddle up in pajamas and watch their movies. Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons / Special to The Forum

  • I'm grateful for my ukulele. Is there a happier instrument? I say no. — Penny Andrist.

  • I'm grateful for Stephen King, who has given me untold hours of delicious chills and entertainment. — Sandi Paulson

"I am grateful for smoked almonds and ginger ale. Eating these two foods together makes me feel like I’m on a plane going somewhere."

- Jane Skunberg


  • I’m grateful for Food Network baking championships. People always talked about them and I just didn’t tune in, until recently. What a great escape on rainy days! — Cheryl Lausch.

  • I’m beyond grateful that my German mom made sure I knew how to make perfect lefse (she learned from my Norwegian dad’s mom when they were first married). It’s a special part of each holiday season and I treasure both the memories and the outcome of those lessons. — Julie Rutherford.


backthen-thanksgiving lefse
Butter and sugar on lefse is definitely worthy of thanks. Forum file photo

  • I am grateful for Hallmark Christmas movies. — Susie Ishaug-Schroeder.

  • I am grateful for smoked almonds and ginger ale. Eating these two foods together makes me feel like I’m on a plane going somewhere. I am also thankful for ice cubes with holes in the middle. Again you only get these on a plane. — Jane Skunberg.

So as you sit around the Thanksgiving table this year, eating turkey with all the fixings, ask everyone how they might answer this question, then be grateful for the weird answers.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tracy Briggs is a News, Lifestyle and History reporter with Forum Communications with more than 30 years of experience, in broadcast, print and digital journalism.
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