Do I feel sad this year? I do. But it’s not just about Thanksgiving. I will most certainly spend Christmas, New Year’s Eve and my January birthday by myself. That’s not going to stop me from celebrating. I will cook, and I’m setting up a fall table with leaf and gourd decorations and a sweet pecan pie candle. I will watch my all-time favorite Thanksgiving movies from childhood, including “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and “Garfield’s Thanksgiving.” I’ll also watch the pared-down pandemic version of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade…

I also plan to call several other friends and family members in far-flung places, say “happy Thanksgiving” and tell them why I am thankful for them. I will spend a lot of time in quiet prayer and reflection, thanking God for the gift of life and the many good things in it, despite these awful, lonely circumstances.

Who knows, maybe there is something to this stripped-down approach to a gratitude-based holiday. We won’t be preoccupied with cooking or getting ready for guests. I think at the dinner table, people are more focused on the company than on the spirit. That won’t be a problem for me this year. It’s an all-spirit year.