At five years old, my birthday was my favorite time of year. In my young adult dating years, Valentine’s Day ranked #1. Christmas anticipation didn’t last long as my dysfunctional family of origin turned a Norman Rockwell holiday into one of chaos, anger and disappointment. No fun. For years, I dreaded winter holidays when stores began displaying Christmas decorations in September. If I could only jump to January 2nd. What happened to living in the moment — for merchants, or for me?
As I’ve become more spiritual, Thanksgiving moved into top position for favorite holiday. I prefer the lower key ambience and taking more time to reflect deeply on the people who have given special meaning to my life — a simple kindness, a confidante’, an excellent health care provider…
But this year, things changed. It occurred to me that many of our holidays have been virtual holidays, perhaps the precursor to the internet’s fake news. After all, no one knows for sure if Christ’s birthday was December 25th. Valentine’s Day is just as mysterious. And Thanksgiving — well what am I giving thanks for if my ancestors came to America, killed the Native American Indians then stole their homeland only to destroy it? That reality sickens me.
I’ve long felt that Thanksgiving was the more solemn of holidays but now more deeply understand why. No more “celebrating” fake holidays for me. Expressing gratitude on any arbitrary day, and as many days as possible throughout the year are my days of thanks giving. Now that’s something real, and worth celebrating.
There’s a traditional Native American Seneca greeting I love any time of the year: Na:weh Skennio
It means Thank you for being! For all that you do and for who you are, I thank you for being. – Jamie Sams in The Fabric of the Future
And that makes any day of the year a real holiday in my heart.