A Letter from Danielle for November ‘16

Hi Everyone,

First of all, my new novel THE AWARD is now officially on sale!!
I hope you read it soon and let me know your thoughts. And I truIy hope you enjoy it. It makes for the perfect gift book too if you are like me and do your holiday shopping early!

Today is also the first day of November. November is one of those challenging and important months, which can go any number of ways. The most important day that stands out is of course Thanksgiving. And like all holidays, it can be blessed and wonderful, or really hard. With European parents, and in Europe most of the time, I didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving as a girl. The holiday only became meaningful to me as an adult.

On the surface, Thanksgiving appears to be a holiday focused around food. I’m not much of an eater (I can be happy with a hard boiled egg and an Oreo cookie on most days – with a little peanut butter thrown in!), and big meals always seem overwhelming. But having said that, when faced with Thanksgiving, I eat way too much stuffing, cranberry sauce, and popover rolls. And I can never decide which pie to have, so I wind up eating them all: pumpkin, mince and apple – topped with whipped cream! By the end of dinner, I’m so stuffed, I can hardly talk. They say that turkey has some sort of stupefying effect on people, but in my case it is definitely the stuffing, the popovers and the pies (a carbohydrate/calorie feast.)

What I really LOVE about Thanksgiving is the excuse for families to get together, and that in truth, it is a holiday about gratitude. It’s a reminder to be thankful, and to share our gratitude, our meal, and our home with friends and those we care for. Gratitude is the essence of life, and we should be thankful for what we have, however much or little it is.

Like all holidays, Thanksgiving has the potential to be stressful or disappointing – not being able to get home to those we love, or being disassociated from them in some way, or shaken by some difficult event in our lives. The year we had lost my son Nick (only two months before the holiday) was very, very hard. And sharing a meal with our extended family isn’t always easy. But Thanksgiving isn’t just about our families, it is also about our friends. We don’t have to share the holiday with our families, we can spend it with our friends—or we can be a blessing to total strangers, serving a meal in a homeless shelter or a soup kitchen of some kind. There are many, many ways to spend the day. And the more you give to others and share with them, the more you will be blessed.

I’m grateful for my family, my friends, my work, my home, and the many blessings in my life. But I am also very, very grateful to you, my readers… for reading my books, being supportive of me, caring about my work, and making the long hours I spend writing worthwhile. I am so very grateful for you this year, and every year, and not just on Thanksgiving. Thank YOU for every moment of joy you give me.

I hope that however you spend it, big or small, simple or fancy, dressed up, or in jeans, with your family or at a homeless shelter, I hope that Thanksgiving will be a blessed day for you this year.

With much love,

Danielle

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