The short answer is NO! Of course there are no requirements on Thanksgiving. It’s not as if you will be banned from eating turkey or watching football. I also think that many people often dread the onset of the holiday season and it’s fairly common not to feel thankful this time of year.
A more universal feeling this time of year is stress. As the holidays approach, stress can be magnified by thoughts of spending time with family or not spending time with family, how to pay for presents and big meals. Some people have lost loved ones this year or have broken ties with family or friends. Others are trying to find something to do over the holidays to distract from and manage feelings of loneliness.
If you are amongst the many who are having trouble finding something to be thankful for this year, rest assured that you are not alone. Although it may be small comfort, give yourself permission not to feel thankful. At least you will relieve any guilt associated with what you think you “should be feeling.” If you are up to taking it one step further, consider the contemplative nature of this time of year. Take time to consider what this past year has meant to you and how you would want to change it. This can be a time of setting goals for the coming year that can leave you feeling hopeful and fulfilled.