22 November, 2018: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has long been one of my favorite holidays for many reasons.

It always falls on a Thursday, so that usually means Friday is also a free day – no one can go wrong with a little more rest following a full day of eating and extroverting.  You will not find me in a shopping mall on Black Friday!

And then there is the fact that the taint of commercialism hasn’t really claimed Thanksgiving in the same way it has infected Christmas and Easter, and the rest.

 

Plus – pecan pie and pumpkin pies are two of my favorites – although no one says you can go wrong with a good coconut cream – yes, even on Thanksgiving!

I used to think that Thanksgiving was a great holiday, too, because it was not complicated by the giving of gifts.  It’s not that I don’t appreciate both the giving and receiving of gifts – but let’s face it, true gift-giving is hard:  to do a good job you’ve got to really know the person’s passions and interests – not just some superficial information about the person.>>  You’ve got to take your time, hunt around, compare, contrast and inspect. . .

But several years ago, my attitude changed as I realized that Thanksgiving is actually full of gift-giving. . . It’s full of hospitality and welcome.  The whole day is based on gratitude.  It is fueled by the gifts of food, and drink, and time spent lingering around the table.  It’s sustained by family and friends, punctuated with story-telling, and made rich by tradition and custom.

 

 

In a world that prizes monetary value, flash, relevance, and other empty criteria — the model of Thanksgiving as gift-giving might change how we think about more than just this one day.  Perhaps we can all get just a little bit more caught up in this type of gift-giving throughout the rest of the year.