Thanksgiving, marked as a day for giving thanks, has always been my favorite holiday. It’s true, even more so than Christmas, or any summer fun celebration day! And the reason has always been simple and pure. It’s a time when you choose to spend time with family and friends, for the only purpose of sharing their company, good food, in a warm home surrounded by people who mean so much to you. No pressure in having to buy gifts, to see the joy or lack of joy in the recipients face, no pressure in depending on circumstances outside your realm of control including weather, travel, etc. , no pressure in having to “dress up” for the celebration. It’s a day, simply a day that you can just be, for the sake of connecting with not only yourself in remembering the reasons you are grateful and thankful for the blessings in your own life, but connecting with others, simply by sharing the same space as them. Listening to stories, telling stories, playing games, watching movies…surrounded with constant chatter and laughter, and sometimes emotional moments that are felt deep into your heart. I always thought the world slowed down on Thanksgiving Day. It’s a time to reflect and be still. Be still in knowing what is truly important in your life is already within you, within your heart and home.
As a child, I remember Thanksgiving Day as a relatively small family celebration. It was usually my mom and dad, sister and brother and many times, my Grandmother. Things were peaceful in the house. Looking back, I think that’s the reason it became my favorite. For a time, at least during the daylight hours it was peaceful. Oh, we had the hustle and bustle in the kitchen, cooking, peeling potatoes, cooking the “turkey parts” that always grossed me out, pots and pans piled up in the sink that needed to be washed all day long! All for the intended purpose of sitting around the table and sharing that time, that connection with those who were part of our lives. The people that became a part of my life, the part that really mattered.
So for a time, I honored that peace, what became my escape from the routine, the escape from the daily life that truly existed outside that day. What I’ve learned is that the world doesn’t stop on Thanksgiving Day like I always wanted to believe it did, it just slows down, it allows us to connect on a deeper level of living and just being. It was never a Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving, but in my heart, I wanted to believe it was. It was a real family, coming together with real life issues but never forgetting the core of what family really means.
So as I am reminded of the many reason that I am thankful, that I am grateful for the life, the family, the friends and everything and everyone who has become a part of my life, I hope you too can find that connection, that stillness that brings the focus in your life to what really matters. It doesn’t matter that technology has taken over our lives, that stores are now open on Thanksgiving Day because you still are in control over the way you choose to spend the day. If you’re upset about stores being open, don’t shop. If you’re upset that your children can’t look up from the table without keeping their phones nearby, have them turn them off for the one day, and if not for the day, at least for an hour while you can talk face to face, looking into each other’s eyes, making that human connection which we all still crave. Our own world needs to slow down for us all to recognize and see the blessings we have as we celebrate a the day that reminds us of just that I wish everyone the joy, peace and stillness in recognizing how much you have to be thankful for not only today, but everyday. Happy Thanksgiving!