I've loved Thanksgiving since the day I was born, which, incidentally, was on Thanksgiving. The family joke is that I ruined my mother's turkey dinner.

I guess you could say I'm thankful for Thanksgiving.

I'm not the only one. An ad in The Post last week for the discount retailer Tuesday Morning bore the headline: "Let's Be Thankful For Closeout Savings."

Of course I'm thankful for closeout savings. Who wouldn't be? I'm also thankful for extended shopping hours, "sale-a-brations" and all the other mercantile things that happen this time of year, a most wonderful time of year, when we allow ourselves to be ridiculously grateful for finding a parking space close to the Toys R Us or nabbing the last honey-baked, spiral-sliced ham.

That these little things mean a lot is proof that we really do have a lot to be thankful for.

What are you thankful for? Today might be the day to think about the answer to that question, and maybe even share it with the people around you.

The past few weeks, my assistant, Julia Feldmeier, and I have been asking people what they're thankful for this Thanksgiving. Here's what they said:

"Just being with family and friends. I'm thankful for what we have compared to the other places in the world that have suffered so much since September." -- Greg Goodwin, 38, Silver Spring, planner with the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

"I'm thankful that there are no more hurricanes at the present time. I'm thankful for the prayers of everyone and the efforts of the rescuers. I'm thankful for the people that have chosen to pull through and not despair." -- Ellen Donaldson, visiting D.C. from Baton Rouge, La.

"For my son. He's in Iraq for a year. He's coming home in January." -- Khosi Nxumalo, 56, Swaziland, visiting D.C. on vacation.

"I'm thankful for the relatives and friends who have held my family and me up throughout this year. On April 18, my husband, Roy, died unexpectedly; no sooner had I even started to crawl out from under the grief than my sister, Lynn, died on Nov. 8. We could never have survived this devastating trip had it not been for the friends, neighbors and relatives who called, sent cards, donated food, attended funeral services and have continued to provide comfort and moral support." -- Jan Hawkins, 50, Nokesville.

"The freedom to be able to travel across the country and with a feeling of being somewhat safe to do so." -- Rebecca Het, 52, visiting D.C. from Provo, Utah.

"I'm thankful that I'm a law student and I have a job for the summer, and I'm thankful that finals will be over soon." -- Adam Kezsbom, 25, Cleveland Park.

"I am thankful for my wife of 60 days as of Thanksgiving, Heather Cheyne. I feel like the luckiest man alive." -- Leland N. Cheyne, 25, Silver Spring.

"Since I'm a Democrat, I'm thankful for people like John Murtha." -- Robbie Mann, 26, Glover Park, a staffer on the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

"Right now, it's got to be the U.S. military and the job they've done. Despite criticism, they've always managed to maintain an exceptional level of performance." -- Phil Brenner, 25, Chevy Chase, D.C., a researcher.

"I'm thankful for the three Marines I work with -- Capt. Freese, Master Sgt. Huston and Sgt. McCullough -- are funny, cheerful people who, for the most part, don't let the fact that they are deployed to the other side of the world without their families dampen their moods. You can't ask for a better group to be stuck in the desert with, because the people you are around can make or break any trip, and these three are definitely making our deployment as enjoyable as it can be." -- Cpl. Maria L. Saucedo, 25, a Marine from Damascus who is serving at Al Taqaddum Air Base in Iraq.

"My younger brother Don died last month. I'm thankful for the people I still have." -- Ed Thomas, D.C., 55, a security officer standing guard at the National Gallery's sculpture garden.

"I'm thankful to live in a free world -- freedom's a big deal." -- Steve Farver, 53, a high school French teacher from Chicago visiting D.C. on vacation.

"That people I care about are healthy; that I'm healthy." -- Peter Choharis, a lawyer from Washington.

"We're thankful that our kids are going to be playing in the Macy's Day Parade, representing Hawaii." -- sisters Debbie Spencer, 46, and Karen Puu, 50, visiting D.C. before heading to New York.

"My grandfather just had a heart attack. I'm thankful that he's still alive and that I have the funds to be able to go back to Indianapolis to visit him." -- Jessica Sturgis, 20, a Howard University student.

"I guess I'd have to say I'm thankful for this, Project Harvest, that allows us to give back. I'm pretty privileged. I think it's important that we give back any chance that we can." -- Stephen Robinson, 22, a Howard University student raising money at 12th and Pennsylvania NW to help feed hungry families.

"I am thankful for a family, that while frustrating at times, is strong enough to work through our problems together. I am thankful for my two stepsons, who have chosen to serve their country, and for all service men and women around the world. I am thankful for my friends who stand by me through thick and thin. I am thankful to God for giving me all these things." -- Cheryl Anne Forster, 37, an event planner from Myersville.

"Football season." -- Jamie Snyder, 30, an analyst for the Capitol Police who lives in Arlington.