A Monitor Thanksgiving

Why, despite all the hassle, do we love holidays? If we do it right, we’re putting others first, so we'd like to say "Thank you" to our readers.

Warren Ruda/The Hazleton Standard-Speaker/AP
Children dressed in costumes sing during a Thanksgiving program at a school in Fairview, Pennsylvania, on Nov. 12, 2019.

As I was reading this week’s cover story – not able to put it down, more like – I came to the part I liked most of all. The gratitude. The article is about the people who save Thanksgiving – the plumbers who unstick pipes, the hotline helpers who answer our panicked cooking questions. And you know what? It’s a hard day away from loved ones, but they enjoy doing it, because they feel our gratitude, which is genuine and overflowing.

It’s a reminder of why, despite all the hassle, we love holidays. If we do it right, we’re putting others first, whether as hosts, guests, or saintly repair technicians.

It seems only appropriate, then, to pause at the beginning of our Thanksgiving issue and share our sincere thanks for you, the readers of The Christian Science Monitor. Any publication founded with the object “to injure no man, but to bless all mankind” has lots on the to-do list. But No. 1 always has to be serving and empowering those who will actually do the work of making the world better. And that’s you.

As editor, one of my great unfulfilled wishes is to share with you how amazing Monitor readers are. I remember speaking to five of you who subscribed the week after the impeachment inquiry was announced in the United States. Could there be a more polarizing week? Yet each of you was thoughtful, gracious, and grateful that you had found a place that respected you enough to let you make up your own mind. When I asked one of these new readers to summarize the Monitor’s distinction in one word, he said “gentle.” I wanted to frame that and put it on the wall.

Just in going through my email, I meet amazing people every day. There’s Catherine Crossman, who says she’s loved the Monitor since before she could read, anticipating the children’s story that used to run in the newspaper. “I suppose it was healing me even then because of the love I could feel as my siblings and I crowded into my Dad’s lap and onto the arms of his chair to listen to the stories,” she wrote me.

Now, she takes the Monitor along with her as she does prison work. “One man told another of our workers that he had become more loving since reading the Monitor – direct healing!” Catherine writes.

Or Nancy Robison, who had her first published writing in the Monitor. “At age fourteen I wrote about my experience as a model on ‘live’ television in Los Angeles around 1949 – TV was very new, and I was thrilled when the Monitor accepted my story and paid – I think $15!” Now she shares her Monitor with the mail carrier, “who thanks me for it.”

The gratitude for the Monitor comes through email in waves. But on this of all days, let’s flip that around and serve a heaping portion of gravy-slathered gratitude in the other direction. From all of us at the Monitor, thank you.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.