I love this time of year. Truly, I love it.

It all starts about a week before Halloween, when I start getting into making a costume and planning where to take kids trick or treating. Then fall truly hits, and we move into cold/cozy weather and into the “good food” season. Thanksgiving brings together family I don’t get to see every day and gets me fully into the holiday feeling. Then comes my birthday (my favorite day of the year), followed closely by all the community holiday events. Then it’s holiday lights, cold weather, wrapping presents, gifting, Santa Claus excitement, and more, all rushing into the Christmas holiday (which also means more good food!) Then the season comes to a calm close with New Year’s, a chance to make a fresh start with the changing of the calendar.

I know, for some people that sounds like a ball of unfun stress. But I thrive on the feeling of family and community that I get during the holidays.

But even though I enjoy it, I admit that during all the busyness and chaos, it’s easy to forget to slow down and enjoy the spirit of the season. And that’s true every year, regardless of what’s happening in current events.

This year, I’m making a point of thanking people and finding reasons to be appreciative even when things seem a bit negative. For example, we’re hosting Thanksgiving this year at our new house. Hosting Thanksgiving for six adults and four kids isn’t a super-difficult feat, but it isn’t easy either (especially since my husband and I both work full time). I was doing dinner planning over the weekend and was starting to feel the stress level rise when I realized how much I am going to have to do on Thanksgiving itself. I immediately wanted to throw up my hands and complain about “why do we have to host?!” But I caught myself because I’m thankful that we have a house that we CAN use to host. I’m thankful that I have family close enough that they are coming over to celebrate the holiday. I’m thankful that I have husband who is around and likes to help with everything. I’m thankful I have a job that values its employees and gives us both Thanksgiving and the day after off. I’m thankful that while my family may be battling colds, we’re all generally healthy.

In general, I’m thankful because, well, just because.

I hope all of you can find reasons to be thankful and spread them around. I know someone just told me they appreciated something small that I did and it made my day. I challenge all of you to find something to be thankful about it someone else and then tell them about it.

Kira Cox

Hi, I’m Kira. I joined Verity in early 2012 after a seven-year stint as a newspaper reporter. While I never thought my career path would veer off in this direction, I am loving my time at Verity. I recently moved from being a member services representative at the Alderwood Branch to being the marketing coordinator for the credit union.

I’m originally from Texas, but I have lived all over the country and the world, including Boston, Massachusetts, Anchorage, Alaska and Sydney, Australia. But in all my travels, the Pacific Northwest is the only place that has felt like home.

When not at work, I am usually home with playing with my son, husband, dog and three cats. During the rare times I don’t have a to-do list to plow through (and it’s not raining too hard), I can be found digging in the vegetable garden, training for a half-marathon, or grilling in the backyard.

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