Anticipation. Like little kids looking forward to Christmas or those of us in the adult world having the faith that things can get better knowing that it's up to us to make it happen. Remembering the "we are God's hands" concept and working to make it true.
Memories. Realizing that if it happened before, it can happen again.
Examples. There was a time a few years ago when a story was making the rounds at Christmas time. Not the kind where creches were banned in the public square, but an example of man's goodness toward others.
This one was about a business which required 24/7, 365 days a year to exist. The public witnessed what in this day and age might be considered a minor miracle. How? By learning that all of the Jewish employees of this business volunteered to work on Christmas Day so all the Christians could have the day off.
In today's climate where the atheists and Humanists are trying to take religion out of the so-called holiday "season" this kind of generosity can hardly be imagined and you can be sure the non-Christians would never volunteer to do that kind of service for friends.
I remembered this today when a Humanist was interviewed and said with Hannucha, Kwanza and Christmas sharing the same time frame the word Christmas should not be the only terminology. I immediately reacted by thinking, well, then, since it's a legal holiday but if they don't recognize it they should be working. And I don't care if they want to take off a day they can call anything they want. Maybe Halloween, of Devil's Day. Whatever.
Anyway, you will read this on Thanksgiving and although there are areas of concern as mentioned the other day, we still have more to be thankful for than anybody else on the planet and so we are. Family, friends, co-workers, even pets and the ability to help others or accept help in a very giving community whether it be large or small.
ps-I've seen several ways to spell Hannucha and I don't honestly know which is proper. I apologize.