Thanksgiving will take on a much different look for most families this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Fewer people will be traveling. Large family gatherings are discouraged as confirmed cases of COVID-19 climb to record levels daily.

All in all, it has the feel of a depressing holiday celebration.

But rather than focusing on what we won’t have this year, we should take the holiday literally and take a moment to give thanks and show gratitude for the simple things in our lives, the things that too often are overlooked but matter greatly.

The lessons learned in 2020 are not all bad. For one, it’s taught us to be even more thankful for family and friends, and grateful for their good health and safety. We’ve learned the importance of staying in touch on a frequent basis and offering reassurance and love to those we can’t be with at this time.

And we’re fortunate to live in a time when technology can keep us connected, no matter the distance or circumstances.

Mere words can’t express our gratitude for health care workers across the country who, even in the face of the worst pandemic in a century, continue to provide care at great risk to their own health.

And despite the alarming surge in cases, we can take comfort in the dedication of scientists and researchers worldwide who have been working tirelessly on vaccines — which may be available within a few months — against the virus.

Taking a moment to reflect on the good things in our lives, always appropriate during the Thanksgiving season, is especially important this year. It’s good for the soul to celebrate the blessings of life and to let others know how important they are to us.

On this Thanksgiving, look past the negative and consider the words of the late John F. Kennedy:

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

FROM AN EDITORIAL IN THE PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE