Dear Reader, 

Perhaps it’s not surprising that the Monitor’s Thanksgiving cover story is about letters of gratitude.  

Giving thanks this time of year is part of our national heritage in the United States, a heritage that includes the rituals of meals surrounded by family and dear friends. Many of these gatherings might feature heated discussions about the meaning of our country’s complicated history and competing visions of our common life together.

Why We Wrote This

In the bustle and tumult of daily life, giving thanks can come as an afterthought. For these regular practitioners of gratitude, however, Thanksgiving comes every day.

As a writer who covers politics and culture, I share stories about the lives we live and the values that animate us as part of my job. This includes the kinds of discussions we have, say, during holiday rituals with those we love, even when they challenge our patience, if not our points of view.

When we decided to write a cover story on gratitude, we asked readers to send in personal stories about sending and receiving thank-you notes. So many Monitor readers and others graciously shared their experiences with me, showing me letters that carry deep personal meaning and allowing me to share them with you.

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