"We are the Lord's people, the sheep of the Lord's pasture; enter the Lord's gates with Thanksgiving; enter into the Lord's gates with Praise." - Psalm 100
Thanksgiving - the often forgot about holiday (holy-day), except for the baking of turkeys, hams, potatoes, pie, etc. Halloween now annually garners $10 Billion in commercial spending by American Consumers. Christmas - at least the commercial end of Christmas - even more. Costumes, decorations, food, travel, vacations. How and where does God fit into all of that? We can't be too critical of those who are unchurched or who don't have a relationship with God as we do in the Church, because, well, they don't - have a relationship with God. That's not judgmental - it's just what it is.
But we, the Church, do have a responsibility to God, and to be thankful, praising, and joyful. That is not only a choice, but it is an expectation that God laid at the foot of God's people in both the Old and New Testaments. There are many Psalms with thanksgiving and praise - and not just when things are going well.
The Psalmist is candid about hard times, difficult decisions to be made, and even persecutions for being God's people. The Gospels and Epistles have their verses of "Thanksgiving Encouragement", too.
We cannot and should not, in my opinion, relegate Thanksgiving to just a national holiday, although it has some significance in that regard. And we should not condition our thanks only upon how we are feeling at the moment, or if life is good verses bad. Our thanksgiving to God and for God is not conditional, except upon the fact of Christ's crucifixion and resurrection, and how those events have eternally shaped our lives in this world and for the next (heaven and salvation). Our thanksgiving to God needs to be consistent, regardless of our situation in this life. Because, "for this life only", is not the only life we share or will share with God.
Even through disappointment, hurt, anger, depression, and other sorrows...can we not muster enough faith to give God thanks? I believe we can. I believe we should. There is a long track record of faithful people who have gone before us who have done just that. Thanked God daily for not only the blessings of life, but the challenges in life that test our faith, but which can also strengthen our faith and faithfulness.
Be thankful, yes, and hopefully share some time in person, on the phone, virtually - however - with family and or friends. But remember that God is at the center of even those occasions and events. We have been invited by God to join the Kingdom, and we are part of the Kingdom through grace, mercy, faith, and love. Now that's something to be thankful about all the time - not just on one day of one month out of the year!