The other day, friend Marie asked me what I was doing for Thanksgiving.
I gave her a blank look.
I have no plans.
About 20 years ago, I shifted my approach to the holidays from strategic planning and defined expectations, to more spontaneity.
It’s paid off. The Holidays turn out better than I could have designed myself. And, stress doesn’t even bother inviting itself anymore.
Well, to be honest, the first few years of spontaneity were touch and go. I pee-oed a few family members when I chose not always to participate in the “traditional” festivities, but common sense won out and I wasn’t excommunicated from the family.
Thanksgiving celebrations span cultures, continents, and millennia. Ancient Greeks, Romans, Jews, and Native Americans (before the English arrived) paid tribute to God, or the gods, after harvest. In 1621, the Plymouth Colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast. Later in history, first President George Washington gave a Thanksgiving Proclamation, expressing gratitude for independence and ratification of the U.S. Constitution. Then, in the next century, in the midst of the U.S. civil war, President Abraham Lincoln entreated Americans to ask God to “heal the wounds of the nation” and declared Thanksgiving a national holiday.
Yes, there are people like me who faithfully attend Thanksgiving church services, however, to stereotype Thanksgiving Day as a religious breakthrough misses the point (unless Thanksgiving signifies eating turkey religiously).
Mass consciousness is being penetrated with the fact that appreciation, thankfulness, and gratitude can be experienced every day. If setting aside a day of thanks is the necessary step to being appreciative every day, so be it. But remember, it helps not to stereotype Thanksgiving. It helps not to do things we ultimately will feel dissatisfied about. So, let’s be thankful, for the right to know when to stop eating, when to exercise, how to volunteer our compassion, how to reduce our consumption, how to secure security, and how to touch the spirit of others with love.
Gratitude is powerful. Being thankful for friends, a home, and care coincides with wonder and joy. And, I admit, I find there is something greater attracting my attention, that is Life, Truth, Love, God. Thank you.