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Reasons to be thankful tonight

Carl Quintanilla writes: There's turkey and stuffing in the Nightly newsroom tonight, thanks to our friends at the NBC Commissary upstairs. (Early reviews are good.) There are also plenty of televisions on which to watch football, if we're so inclined.

But more than that, there are reminders of reasons to be thankful -- and they come in the form of news stories.

Rehema Ellis leads our broadcast tonight with a piece on today's Thanksgiving celebrations around the country -- from the Macy's Parade in New York City to the myriad of ways Americans are volunteering and giving to those in need. Lester Holt brings us the latest in his series of inspiring stories about U.S. troops in Afghanistan during this holiday, as they continue to fight a critical but exhausting war.

The ongoing tensions in North and South Korea also continue to dominate headlines. Our Ian Williams brings us a first-hand look at the island that was shelled by North Korea this week, surveying the damage and talking to bewildered residents. We'll talk with Richard Engel about what comes next, what's behind the joint military exercises the U.S. will begin with South Korea next week, and how China is responding.

Finally, Thanksgiving wouldn't be Thanksgiving without the s-h-o-p-p-i-n-g. The National Retail Federation says 138 million Americans will shop this Black Friday weekend, and more retailers like Sears stayed open on Thanksgiving Day. Lee Cowan takes a look at Americans' seemingly insatiable appetite for shopping, and how that may indicate that their fears about the economy (or at least their pocketbooks) may be on the wane.

Now, that would be something for which to be truly thankful.

Wherever you are this Thanksgiving night -- at home with friends, with family, at work with co-workers (who sometimes feel like family), we wish you a wonderful holiday, and hope you'll join us tonight.