Thanksgiving is the time for families and friends to connect and give thanks for all the good things that have happened and for the blessings received. It’s the week to cook, gather and celebrate. It’s also the week that kicks off the “holidays.” The mood and mindset from this week carries over and creates a halo around the rest of the holiday season. So, what is America’s mood likely to be?

Most reports point to people feeling more stability and certainty in their own situations. This happy holiday news must mean that people are feeling a lot more holiday season enthusiasm, right?

We decided to find out. In a national survey conducted by Shapiro+Raj, we discovered that despite all the challenges we’ve faced – from natural disasters, terrorism, shootings, political upheaval and social challenges – Americans, especially the ones affected by some of these issues, continue to be understanding, generous, and resilient.

Here are some of the highlights from the study that show how we’re responding emotionally, socially, environmentally and spiritually.

  1. For a good number of people, a lot of events piled some tough emotions on their plates

The shootings are on their minds, with 55% of people saying these impacted them emotionally, followed by weather disasters (50%), racial tensions (42%) and political rhetoric around the repeal of Obamacare (41%).  As we would expect, people who are affected by any one issue have become more sensitized to other events, feeling the impact to a far greater degree.

  1. While it’s no surprise they feel the country is getting worse, they remain resilient in the face of turmoil

People who were impacted by adverse events, compared to ones (53%) who were not, feel that our country is moving in the wrong direction. But their response to it is to adopt a sense of positivity and drive rather than anger or resentment.  These folks are more thankful, determined and hopeful, as well as displaying a greater sense of generosity, sympathy and affection compared to the general population.

  1. They’re bringing that sense of enthusiasm into the holiday season

They’re looking forward to the holidays. In fact, roughly one-third of those affected are looking forward to this holiday season more than they did last year. They plan to lean in with a lot of enthusiasm, both in terms of typical commercialism but also putting greater priority on their relationships. They plan to spend more time connecting with people they care about.

  1. In keeping with how they feel, a noticeable number intend to take their charitable nature to a higher level

And, this year, they are more inclined to donate to charitable causes than in the past years. Around 30% report that they will spend even more time volunteering at a local charity, 35% will do more to encourage friends and family to volunteer to help those in need, 30% will work more to promote positive social and political change, and 25% will support brands that give a percent of proceeds to charitable causes.

Not surprising. This is a way for these folks, who feel the world is out of control, to bring a sense of control to it, but do it in a way that is aligned with their deeply held values and a warm and caring approach. Why Americans continue to conquer adversity and make a difference despite facing up to their challenges.

Definitely something to be thankful for.