Gratitude Minus Platitudes

Thank You Computer Key by Stuart Miles,

Thank You Computer Key by Stuart Miles,

“Being grateful may be the spiritual equivalent of Prozac,” according to Dr. Robert Emmons. I couldn’t agree more, which why I’m grateful that it’s almost Thanksgiving time.

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays, right up there on the list with National Chocolate Day and the day the clocks “fall back” and we get an extra hour of sleep.

Any day stuffed full of food, family, friends and football is a good day in my book.

But I’ve counted my blessings in this column a few times and realized they don’t really change all that much from year to year, which is a good thing. I am eternally grateful for all of the wonderful people and gifts in my life, but this Thanksgiving I decided to see what some other people are grateful for.

By other people I mean some really famous people–and some not–whose quotes about gratitude might make you smile a little brighter as you toast the turkey this Thanksgiving.

Like Ricky Gervais I am grateful for pajamas, which are certainly handy to squeeze into once you’ve unzipped your pants after a hearty Thanksgiving meal. He says, “I’ve started wearing pajamas out, because they’re more comfortable than trousers. I started out with jeans, then went to sweatpants about ten years ago. Now it’s just pajamas. I’ve gone whole hog. I wore them to the White House.”

“I am grateful that there is life out there for someone who isn’t a scholar,” says Jamie Lee Curtis. “I wear my combined 760 SAT scores like a medal around my neck that ANYONE can make it despite being a round, square, gay, alcoholic, liberal, pampered peg in the proverbial square hole of what is the norm.” Of course having two movie star parents doesn’t hurt, but I get where she’s coming from and am happy to offer a holiday cheer to misfits everywhere.

“Though I am grateful for the blessings of wealth, it hasn’t changed who I am. My feet are still on the ground. I’m just wearing better shoes,” says Oprah Winfrey, who admitted her shoe addiction to a live TV audience but regrettably still hasn’t invited me into her walk-in (and probably bigger than my whole house) closet.

“I figure if I have my health, can pay the rent and I have my friends, I can call it ‘content,'” says one of my favorite actresses, Lauren Bacall, who is still smoldering at 86.

And finally, some wise words from the Buddha: “Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so, let’s all be thankful.”

Cheers to that and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

When Leslie’s not counting her blessings, gobble by gobble, she can be reached at For more columns visit Originally appeared in the Santa Barbara Daily Sound on November 19, 2010.