After what feels like the longest span of history amidst a global pandemic and political chaos, we’re being grateful and looking on the bright side of things as the year comes to a close.

With 2020 almost behind us, many of us are reeling from a year that went from being dubbed ‘Twenty Plenty’ to one that almost opposite. It forced many of us to reflect on what is actually important and what matters most to us in times of need. Where luxury items and expensive holidays were perhaps on the 2020 bucket list, 2021 is looking decidedly different as people across the world give thanks to the small luxuries in life.

Here are the top 10 things making us grateful this year.

Your Family

No one wants to face hardship alone, and with the advent of COVID-19, never has it been more important to have the support of your family to hold your hand when the going gets tough. Hold your loved ones a little tighter from now on.

Your Children

While home-schooling, an endless trail of laundry and constant cooking is what comes to mind when we think of kids in 2020, we have to be grateful for and awfully proud of them because they too have endured and overcome this year. Here’s to healthy, happy kids!

Spending the Holidays with Your Loved Ones

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to cherish the loved ones in your life. Social distancing and prolonged lockdowns have separated families and friends alike. This season, we are so grateful to be able to hold our loved ones close and share our homes.

Image Credit: Mixing Out

Having Access to Clean, Drinkable Water

While everyone has faced this year differently and with their own set of challenges, millions of people throughout the world faced the pandemic in already dire situations. While it is a basic human right, having something as rudimentary as clean, drinkable water is not everyone’s reality.

Modern Conveniences Like Electricity and Indoor Plumbing

With 940 million people globally living without electricity, the convenience of being able to simply flick on the TV or pop your groceries into a chilled fridge is a luxury. If you were able to run a hot bath in the cold months or put on the air conditioning to quell the heat, count yourself lucky.  

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The Ability to Learn Something New

Many took the opportunity this year to learn a new skill, be it cooking, crocheting or yoga. Part of being able to learn a new skill is having access to the information or training required. So, while many of us were able to enrich our minds and lives over this year, many were only surviving. Let’s be grateful for being able to share and access knowledge.

The Voice of a Friend or Relative

We all have those old friends or distant relatives that we only see once a year, but having even that taken away makes us exceptionally grateful to be able to pick up the phone and hear the voices of those we miss.

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Freedom of Travel

Possibly one of the biggest shocks of this year was the protracted and stringent lockdown measures imposed across the world. Many had to cancel weddings, postpone holidays and say goodbye to loved ones virtually. Now more than ever we appreciate the small but treasured opportunities to move and be free. A walk in the park and a drive to the shops now all count towards our freedom.

Clean Air

Long before the pandemic, many parts of world were battling poor air quality. What became apparent is that with people confined to their houses, mother earth took the opportunity to breathe. Animals returned to reclaim old territories, fauna and flora alike grew in abundance and most significantly, our air quality drastically improved with the reduced carbon emissions. Long may it continue.

Image Credit: iStockphoto

Feeding Your Family

With many stripped bare of their jobs and worldly belongings during COVID-19, we have to be grateful for the most basic human right – a full belly. With world hunger at it’s worst, exacerbated by the year gone by, we are forever humbled by being able to put food on the table.

Random Acts of Kindness  

There is no denying it, this year has brought insurmountable pain and suffering to many. But we also saw extraordinary kindness, compassion and empathy. As the world stood together to fight a common enemy, there were many heartwarming moments and stories of what can be achieved when we stand together in love as a global nation.

Bianca Church