Thursday, November 26, 2020

The Morning: Happy Thanksgiving

For the holiday, we’re printing readers’ words of gratitude.

Good morning. For the holiday, we’re printing readers’ words of gratitude.

Vinnie Neuberg

‘I am thankful to be thankful’

Last week, I invited readers to send us six words describing what made them thankful in 2020. It’s a form of writing — the six-word memoir — popularized by the author Larry Smith.

More than 10,000 of you replied, and we’re grateful to all of you. Here is a selection of your responses:

The crinkling eye above the mask.

A furtive hug with a friend.

The backyard haircuts are getting better.

My choir still meets on Zoom.

Friends who give me streaming passwords.

Family reunion in January, before Covid.

Miss family, but safer for them.

Saved a lot of lipstick money.

More homemade pasta, no more jeans.

No shame in elastic-waist pants.

Braless at home? No one cares.

Mom, 87, rocking pretty, pandemic ponytail.

Teenage son still likes to snuggle.

My parents live two blocks away.

No better excuse to avoid in-laws.

This stinking year is nearly over.


Sunny mornings, a window facing east.

My bicycle, the trail, each morning.

Windows have never been so important.

Toscanini’s recording of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

5329 games of solitaire, won 5286.

Throwing the football with my sons.

Jonesy got a hole in one.

Still ridin’ my horse at seventy.

Postcards crossing the country — real mail.

Living in the Green Mountain State.

So grateful to live in Canada.

Left US for science-believing Germany.

I am thankful for Pastor Bob.

I’m just thankful for indoor plumbing.

I am thankful to be thankful.

Never been social; now I’m good.

I am bored, but not dead.


Ambulance took him. He came home.

Hearing granny laugh on the phone.

It’s just a cold, not Covid.

My parents did not get it.

Reached age 92, grandson reached 3.

I held my dying husband’s hand.

Held my son as he died.

Our kids, after my wife died.

My wife gave me her kidney.

Lung cancer team at Sloan Kettering.

Got sober during 2020, stayed sober.

Wasn’t too late to say sorry.

Wildfires took much but we survived.

Faith, family, friends, dedicated medical professionals.

Dr. Fauci and all truth-speakers.

Volunteers who take experimental vaccines.

Healthcare workers. Healthcare workers. Healthcare workers.


Pandemic baby after years of trying.

At twelve weeks, size of lime.

Special-needs child, graduated feeding tube.

My toddler and my weed guy.

Toddler sees Audrey Hepburn, says “Mama!”

I watched her learn to read.

Water cooler chats with six-year-old son.

Thankful for learning, in my pajamas.

Teachers’ patience. “ … Reminder: no fart machines.”

I teach funny, resilient 8th graders.

High school, even in a pandemic.

Survived first semester of online university.

Six years later, wife completes PhD.

Out of prison with great job.

Rediscovering myself by reading the Bible.

Stole my car, not my books.

Tried. Failed. Failed worse. Kept going.


To be a United States citizen.

Americans waited in line to vote.

Thanks for voting, Americans. — Immigrant scientist.

Gritty becoming an icon for democracy.

Once again, my Black vote matters.

God, family, freedom, Trump, health, USA.

Trump is our best president ever.

Vaccines are coming. Thank you, Trump.

Vaccine is coming, Trump is going.

Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Carter.

Biden won the election — thank God.

Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and Georgia.

Paris Climate Agreement returns in January.

The first female Vice President, baby.

The women who came before me.

Democracy triumphed. Now pass the stuffing.


Aunt’s Jell-O salad not gonna happen.

Solitary Thanksgiving means no turkey. LOBSTER.

Alone, spouses thankful for tiny turkey.

Daughter lovingly uninviting me for Thanksgiving.

Zoom Thanksgiving beats an ICU Christmas.

Thankful for sweet potato pie, y’all.

Red or white, and occasionally rosé.

The many people who deliver food.

My restaurant colleagues, who never quit.

248 cocktail hours with my mom.

Empty calendar means frequent dinners together.

There’s really more kindness than hate.


We’re falling in love over FaceTime.

Fell in love six feet apart.

I have someone I can hug.

Even after I cheated, she stayed.

The freedom of filing for divorce.

Lost job. Lost boyfriend. Found happiness.

I might marry Coronavirus Boy Toy.

Gayer than ever, very in love.

Postponed wedding, having a baby instead.

Fell in love at age 75.

I proposed and she said yes.

Will you marry me, Taylor Hollenkamp?


A line for testing in Los Angeles.Bryan Denton for The New York Times
  • The autumn coronavirus wave that began in the Midwest has now spread to Baltimore, Los Angeles, Phoenix and many other cities.
  • Daily deaths in the U.S. have exceeded 1,600 in recent days, more than double the level of one month ago.
  • The Supreme Court, in a 5 to 4 vote, barred restrictions on religious services in New York that Gov. Andrew Cuomo had imposed. Justice Amy Coney Barrett played a decisive role.
  • In an emotional speech, President-elect Joe Biden urged Americans to see it as their patriotic duty to fight the pandemic together by taking the proper precautions. “We need to remember we’re at war with the virus, not with one another, not with each other,” he said.
  • AstraZeneca has acknowledged a mistake in the vaccine dosage it gave to some participants. Experts said the error as well as data irregularities have eroded their confidence in the reliability of the results.
  • Layoffs are rising again and Americans’ incomes are falling — the latest signs that the resurgent pandemic and waning government aid are hurting the economy.
Michael Flynn arriving for his sentencing in 2018.Tom Brenner for The New York Times
  • President Trump pardoned Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser, who twice pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. about his conversations with a Russian diplomat.
  • The Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska, most likely killing the project. Opponents of the mine said it would have irreversibly harmed salmon breeding grounds.
  • Penguin Random House, the largest book publisher in the U.S., has struck a deal to buy Simon & Schuster, the third largest. U.S. authorities could still try to halt the sale over antitrust concerns.
  • Senator David Perdue, Republican of Georgia, sold at least $1 million worth of stock in the financial company Cardlytics weeks before it announced disappointing results and its share price tumbled.

Back to nature: Meet the world’s only known toxic rodent: the African crested rat. It can bring an elephant to its knees with poison borrowed from plants.

From Opinion: Pope Francis recalls the nurses who saved his life after he was hospitalized at age 21. He argues that to come out of the pandemic stronger, we need to let ourselves be touched by others’ pain.

Fans mourn Maradona in Buenos Aires.Magali Druscovich/Reuters

Lives Lived: Diego Maradona, the Argentine soccer star with otherworldly footwork, has died at 60. (Here’s a clip of his most celebrated goal, against England in the 1986 World Cup.)

And a programming note: I’m taking the rest of today off. But tomorrow’s newsletter will still arrive in your inbox, thanks to my colleague Claire Moses in London, where today is just another Thursday.

Subscribers make our reporting possible, so we can help you make sense of the moment. If you’re not a subscriber, please consider becoming one today.



Brian Rea

A lazy-day guide

What are some good ways to spend the lazy days (if you’re so lucky) of this long weekend?

Be sentimental: Peruse a greatest hits list of Modern Love essays — just be sure to have some tissues handy. There’s also no shortage of holiday-inspired movies and TV shows to watch.

Shop: Black Friday is basically a monthlong event. Here’s a guide to what’s on sale — and what you should avoid right now. There are also gift guides for even the most picky people in your life.

Be one with your couch: Marathon the 50 best movies on Netflix right now. Or you could host a virtual game night.

Travel, virtually: Tour 52 places around the world. Admire some abstract architecture. And foster the spirit of travel at home.


Anna Williams for The New York Times

Choose from these eight pies that taste as spectacular as they look.


The late-night hosts reacted to Trump’s pardon of Flynn.


The pangram from yesterday’s Spelling Bee was friction. Today’s puzzle is above — or you can play online if you have a Games subscription.

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Thanksgiving sauce (five letters).

Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow. — David

A correction: Yesterday’s newsletter mistakenly referred to Winnie Mandela as Willie.

P.S. What causes those of us at The Times to be grateful — in six words? Readers, who make our work possible.

There’s no new episode of “The Daily” today.

Amelia Nierenberg, Ian Prasad Philbrick, Natasha Frost, Claire Moses, Sanam Yar, Melina Delkic and Tom Wright-Piersanti helped read the 10,000-plus six-words replies. You can reach the team at

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