Many think Thanksgiving is only an American holiday yet in reality thanks are given across oceans, seas, and on other dates in October and November. The fourth Thursday in November is simply America’s version of abundant gratitude.
An act of giving thanks
An expression of gratitude, especially to God
A feeling or expression of reverence and adoration
Thanksgiving is often associated with gratitude and abundance.
In my own life, Thanksgiving transformed from stenciling hand print turkey drawings for grade school windows, to a seemingly endless dinner at grandma’s with aunts, uncles and cousins…
…to traveling back home in my early career…to weeks of planning, shopping, cleaning and cooking as hostess, to years later of traveling out of state to share the day with relatives who did the shopping, cleaning and cooking. Thanksgiving’s warmth and congeniality felt a lot like Christmas to me, sans presents or material gifts.
But these last two seasons of ccp/covid restrictions diminish this holiday’s abundance of guests and food. This year, Thanksgiving Day for me means limited seating for a relaxing dinner at a local restaurant then returning home to the aroma of an uncomplicated miniature variant — a browning turkey breast and Mom’s sage stuffing. (The meal wouldn’t be the same without these leftovers I crave annually.)
I overhead one younger man say to his elder, “To me, Thanksgiving is all about the food.”
Substance or Shallow Abundance
Over the years, I’ve watched Black Friday deals overshadow traditional family gatherings with mandated work schedules and obsessive shoppers preparing to fight for bargains. I groaned as Thanksgiving kicked off a month’s long marketing madness of whirling, frenzied, chaotic energy, and longed for January 2nd (well in truth, probably spring).
Declining to participate in Black Friday (once was enough) and no longer trying to create the perfect (yet unrealistic) Christmas celebration, relieved most of my cold weather holiday angst.
The Typo in Thanksgiving
After consistently committing to these healthier choices, my shift in perspection promulgated a tiny shift in spelling, and elevated Thanks Giving to my #1 Favorite Holiday. Opening my eyes to everyday gifts — large and small, from sweet bird song to being cancer free, solidified the change.
“Every day may not be good but there is something good in every day.” — Alice Morse Earle
Gifts and Gratitude Come in All Sizes and On All Calendar Days Too
A simple thanks — even for a sunny day can make all the difference. (Only 175 days of sun appear in my northeast locale). Or being open to the magic of synchronicity like discovering my flat tire at the car wash which happened to be next door to a tire repair center so I was not stranded. And of course, all out life-altering gratitude as I watched a head-on collision with the car in front of me and thanking God in that instant I was not car #1.
I wonder (and hope) that in these darker times, more people will appreciate and give thanks for the every day wonders and blessings in their lives that are too often taken for granted like loved ones, a safe community, and volunteers in charitable organizations.
Thanks Giving in the Mind and Heart is Spelled G-r-a-t-i-t-u-d-e
I no longer wish to skip calendar pages from November-January (or til spring). Thanks Giving now appears every day on my calendar and I feel happy for it. Some Bah Humbuggers say gratitude is overused; they are tired of hearing it. But I say they are unconsciously unappreciative of a kaleidoscopic world.
My Thanksgiving burgeons with New Year’s qualities as I celebrate a year’s worth of gratitude. And this year, I am ever so grateful for the growing numbers of truth seekers and those courageously speaking out for sovereignty.
What’s on your list for Thanks Giving?
Image credits in order of appearance:
Feature Photo: Anete Lusina on Pexels
#2: Fauxels on Pexels
#3: Hulki Okan Tabak on Unsplash
#4: Juliette on Unsplash
#5: Claudio-schwarz on Unsplash
#6: Luisella Planeta Leoni on Pixabay
#7: Gerd Altmann on Pixabay