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What are you thankful for?

Illustration by Mathias MacPhee

So this is Christmas, and what are you thankful for? Okay, so that’s not how the lyrics go, but it does have a nice ring to it, right? While the holiday season is all about giving, it’s nice to pause and reflect on what we are thankful for in our lives. And while friends and family usually top the list, here are a few more unconventional things people are grateful for.


People who don’t like eggnog are wrong. What is there not to like? It’s like milk, only creamier and delectably sweet and cinnamon-y. Plus, now you can get candy cane eggnog. That’s like drinking Christmas.

When I was younger, my mom would always make sure to keep a full stock of eggnog in the fridge as soon as the grocery stores started carrying them. Our household was never in short supply, and I’d knock it back cup after cup. Of course, this was before I found out what trans fats are. Yeah, having a drink with trans fats is a little bit like breathing carbon monoxide when oxygen is readily available. But everything in moderation, right?

Eggnog is also the most festive way to drink hard liquor with your grandma. Pour a little dark rum or brandy into your glass, clink and slosh your way through a toast, and suck back the holiday season.

—Adam Feibel

Fellow bloggers 

Something that I am genuinely thankful for are my imaginary friends. Wait, that came out wrong. I’m thankful for the friends I’ve made through the blogging community. No, we’ve never met, and no, I don’t necessarily know their last name or their phone number. But we’re friends nevertheless, and I’m really thankful for it.

I catch up with them every morning. Their workouts inspire me, their recipes make my mouth water, their charitable work makes me want to be a better person—I genuinely enjoy finding out what happened in their days. They never judge me, they’re reliable, they post every weekday morning, and they make me feel appreciated with awesome giveaways! Through Twitter and the comment sections on their blogs, they share advice and give support.

Laugh if you will, but our odd little friendships, formed as they are on the interwebz, are genuine—for that I am thankful.

—Ali Schwabe

Bulk Barn

I don’t know how I lived 23 years without it before moving to Ottawa. I’m from out west, and Bulk Barn doesn’t exist there. Through stress, celebration, and break-ups where nothing but comfort food will do, Bulk Barn has been there for me. Where else can you make your own trail mix with the perfect proportions of salted peas, spicy plantain chips, chocolate-covered cranberries, and peanuts and not be ridiculed for it? Okay, I was once ridiculed a little for the peas. Where else can you buy a cheap bottle of vanilla extract so giant you couldn’t use it up in a lifetime? The day the wasabi peanuts were discontinued, I got an anxious call from my friend Crystal, and together we mourned the loss. It was a sad day, but it brought us closer. What other store has the power to do this? So this holiday season, I say, “Thanks, Bulk Barn.”

—Julia Fabian


If I had to choose one thing, and one thing only that I am thankful for this year, it would be the friends I have made since discovering the Nerdfighter community.

For all the confused folks out there, Nerdfighter first began as an online community, created by author John Green and his brother Hank Green. Bringing together all categories of nerds, this social platform is for really smart people and regular folks who just love books and video games.

Nerdfighter has created a place where we geeks can seek out others who share similar interests, creating an atmosphere of inclusion and acceptance and helping us realize that we are awesome just the way we are. This is where I found a place to belong, a place where I could make friends by being myself, and I am truly thankful for that.

—Emily Manns

Friends and family

In the holiday season, there is nothing I’m more thankful for than friends and family. Friends are incredibly important to me. Who else will listen to me drone on and on about the mountain of homework that I’m still procrastinating over? Who else will answer the panicky 3 a.m. texts I send out when I realize that the big research essay is due today, not tomorrow?

But more importantly, I’m thankful for family. After all, they’re the ones who keep me going even when I’m generally ignoring them and locking myself in my room 24/7 to study until my eyes fall out of their sockets. But once the semester is out and it’s time for the winter break, my family will be waiting for me with nice hot chocolate, ready to forgive me for all the shunning I had to do in the previous weeks. They’ll also be there to put my eyes back into my sockets, and that is possibly the greatest thing of all.

—Max Szyc

A window of my own

It sounds like a terrible joke, except it wasn’t: I spent an entire year of my life living in a windowless bedroom. My roommate and I needed an apartment, and we needed one quickly. This one was available, it was affordable, it was on Rideau Street… but only one of its bedrooms had a window. I told myself I wouldn’t mind—it would be dark for sleeping, and if I needed to see the sun, I could always sit in the living room.

Turns out not having a bedroom window sucks as much as it sounds. The space was stuffy, the air was stale, and sitting in my room felt something like serving a prison sentence for a crime I didn’t commit.

I now live in a different apartment, and my bedroom comes equipped with a glorious window. After eight months without one, I’m thankful on a daily basis for that pane of sliding glass. Just think—I can get fresh air, I can look outside, I can escape should my house ever catch fire.

Now that I know the horrors of living without one, I’ll never part from having a bedroom window ever again. Me and my window, we’re bonded for life. And for that, I am truly thankful!

—Kristyn Filip