Celebrating Thanksgiving isn’t just about cooler weather, eating food and getting together with family. It’s also a time to be thankful for everything we have in our lives—even the seemingly small or silly things.
Here are 37 unexpected things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
1. Glasses: Before eyeglasses were invented in the late 1200s, many people suffered from poor eyesight. Now, glasses make driving, reading and seeing a much clearer experience.
2. Telling time: Technology makes it easy to know what time it is. But, when my device isn’t charged or the electricity goes out, I’m thankful for manual watches as well.
3. Hot water: Taking a cold shower will definitely wake you up each morning, but it’s not a fun experience. Hot water (and water heaters) are definitely on my list of things I’m grateful for. How about you?
4. Indoor plumbing: Speaking of showering in cold water, have you ever had to use the bathroom outside? Let’s just say it’s not easy dropping your pants when you’re freezing. Also, the smells are horrible.
5. Silverware: Imagine eating with your hands all the time. Well, that’s how it used to be before flatware was widely accepted in the 1800s. I’m thankful we don’t have to slurp or scoop food with our hands.
6. Calculators: I’m not a math whiz and would feel very overwhelmed without a calculator. Can you imagine if everything was calculated out in long-hand form? That would take forever.
7. Dentists: They may not be our favorite people, but dentists make our teeth bright, clean and strong. Because of them we have good oral hygiene and free toothbrushes each year. (I’m also personally thankful for braces!)
8. Latte designs: Hearts on lattes? Yes please! Whichever barista started that trend, I will always be thankful for. There’s nothing quite like a bit of love and coffee rolled into one.
9. Smiles from strangers: The quick glance as you pass a stranger on the street may be uncomfortable, but when it turns into a smile, it warms your heart and soul. You can’t help but smile back.
10. Dishwashers: Washing dishes by hand when you’re part of a big family (I’m one of 5 kids) is not fun. When our family got a dishwasher, it wasn’t a chore for us to load but a privilege.
11. Lotion: The cold fall and winter months always seem to bring dry skin with them. Thank goodness we now have lotion to ease our itchy, dry and cracked skin.
12. Paper and pen: Smartphones and computers have nearly made the traditional pen and paper extinct. But, I for one, love putting pen to paper and writing notes, reminders, doodles and lists.
13. Pillows: There have been a few times in my life where I remember sleeping without a pillow, and by the next morning I was in a lot of pain. I’m thankful for comfy, soft and dreamy pillows we can sleep on every night.
14. Books: There’s nothing like holding a traditional book in your hands and turning each page. Older books even have a woody smell that brings back tons of memories.
15. Music: No matter what kind of music you listen to, it makes our world a better place. Without it we would never dance, sing, yell or rock out!
16. Food: Food is a wonderful thing. It can satisfy your hunger while delighting your taste buds. And the best part is trying new foods, styles and traditions of cooking.
17. Salt: Without salt, our love of food would be less than stellar. In fact, it would be pretty boring since salt is what drives flavor. Without it, eating would be a bland experience.
18. Mornings: Each morning feels like a new beginning. The night has come to an end, and the bright sun brings a day that’s full of a new, fresh start.
19. Internet: Thanks to the Internet we can find answers to nearly all of our questions. You can search for the best recipe, history fact or DIY project all on a portable device.
20. Family: The only people in the world who are forced to put up with you is your family, so you know you’ll always have someone to call. You can be yourself, and they will still love you.
21. Candles: When a huge storm rolls in and cuts out your electricity, you won’t have to fumble around in the dark. Candles have a warm glow and smell amazing.
22. Socks: Warm feet touching a cold floor is quite a jarring experience. Thank goodness for socks! They keep us from getting blisters, protect our smelly feet and make us feel cozy in the winter.
23. Words: Our entire existence is fueled by words, stories and expressions. What we say is an extension of who we are, and I’m so thankful for that.
24. Cameras: Cameras capture our candid memories. Thanks to these wonderful devices we can remember funny moments, sad moments and all the little seconds in between.
25. Blankets: I love the feeling of warm, cozy blankets when it’s rainy or cold outside. Blankets are like fluffy clouds completely surrounding you.
26. Alarm clocks: It may be easy for some people to wake up with the sun, but most of us need help. Without alarm clocks, we’d constantly be late, probably get fired and never do much of anything on time.
27. Soap: Imagine only taking a bath once every few months (or years) in a public bathhouse. Thankfully, now we have soap, shampoo and cleansers that let us be clean on a daily basis.
28. Coupons: Paying full price for stuff is overrated. With coupons, you can feel amazing and accomplished in one quick trip.
29. Airplanes: We can meet family, friends, business contacts and colleagues without having to drive for days. Airplanes make it easy to see people we love within just a few hours. Plus, it’s fun to look out the window and see the world below.
30. Zippers: If you could choose between zippers and buttons, which would it be? Factor in having cold hands or large fingers, and we know zippers win by a landslide.
31. Grass: Freshly cut grass always smells so fresh and earthy. I love the feeling of lush grass between my toes. It makes the perfect background for picnics, outdoor games and BBQs.
32. Scissors: I’m pretty sure nothing would ever be cut straight or be opened properly without scissors. They allow us to cut through even the most stubborn type of plastic.
33. Water: Without water, we would not be able to survive. And, it’s the base of some of my favorite drinks from tea to soda to coffee. It’s also refreshing and thirst-quenching on its own.
34. Calendars: I’m so thankful we don’t have to mark our walls in order to track what day it is. Calendars make our schedules run on time and tell us what day, month, season and year it is.
35. Toilet paper: I don’t think I want to imagine what life would be like without toilet paper. Let’s just say, we’d probably be getting up close and personal with the leaves and grass outside.
36. Ideas: Without ideas, the wonderful inventions we have today would not exist. Ideas are magical and can inspire, motivate and transform our views of the world.
37. Touch: A hug, a kiss, a hand on your shoulder—these are all ways we connect with each other. I’m thankful for human contact.
There are lots of little things we take for granted on a daily basis. So, during this season of thankfulness, be sure to take a moment to list out what you’re grateful for. Let us know some of your most unexpected items below.