Are you vaxxed? Some families face fraught divide over jabs

FILE - A Thanksgiving dinner is displayed on a table in Concord, N.H., on Oct. 22, 2012. Families are navigating the vaccination divide for the holidays. Thanksgiving is a bellwether for how the rest of the season will go among those facing family conflict over the shot. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead, File)

It’s hard to believe, but Thanksgiving — suddenly, it seems — is nearly upon us. The big day is coming up next week.

In past years, this has been a time of anticipating trips to see family, thumbing through recipes to find the perfect side dish for the turkey and making sure the big screen was ready to go for the Lions and Cowboys games.

But this year … this year is different. It’s hard to feel thankful this year.

We should, the optimists among us will say. But then again …

COVID still isn’t under control, world leaders still haven’t done much about climate change and Donald Trump still won’t admit that he lost the White House more than a year ago by 7 million votes.

That’ll make for some friendly table talk when you get to Grandma’s for the family gathering this year, eh?

Well, let’s see. Maybe you could talk football instead. No, wait. Never mind. The Cougars and Huskies both fired their coaches in recent weeks, and the Seahawks? Well …

Guess that’s off the table.

At least the meal will be good — assuming you can shell out the extra 20% a frozen turkey will likely cost you. The trimmings, along with the beer and wine, will be more expensive this year, too.

But hey, you’re with family. People who’ll have pertinent thoughts about whether the best people won local elections, why they are or aren’t vaccinated, and whether Kyle Rittenhouse or the guys accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery are guilty. They might even have some thoughts on the pros and cons of critical race theory.

That should keep the holiday banter going, right?

Ah, well. If things get heated, you can always just dial down the thermostat by a degree or two. Pacific Power just raised rates again, so it’d probably be a good idea anyway.

The truth is, we’re not in the best of times. But another truth is that things really could be much worse. We don’t live in Yemen, for instance. Or Haiti. Or any number of other places around the world where everything from personal safety to potable water is a day-by-day struggle.

Yes, gas costs too much. Rents are ridiculous. The dog next door never stops barking. And we have to remember to bring along our own bags when we go the grocery store.

But relatively speaking, we still have it pretty good.

Maybe it’s best to focus on things that aren’t broken, out of reach or under attack. Maybe the act of consciously focusing on what we do have, rather than what we’ve lost or have never had, is the best way to approach Thanksgiving this year.

Maybe it’s how we should’ve been approaching it all along.