Thanksgiving is my favorite.
It’s my favorite holiday, favorite meal, favorite family get together. The air is crisp and the leaves are in full fall bloom. Yes, I said bloom. Sure, from a scientific perspective they are dying, but from a human perspective they are bursting with color and beauty. They are blooming. It feels like the entire world outside is caught up in trying to linger in the warmth that has spilled over from summer, and yet also in trying to hurry to get ready for the cold that is sneaking in. It’s something in between. It’s perfection. And it peaks at Thanksgiving.
But the best thing about Thanksgiving? The very best thing is that it’s for everybody. There is no debate over who really owns this holiday and is most entitled to celebrate it. There are no lists or gifts or agendas. No right or wrong way about showing gratitude.
I was reminded this year that giving is an action word, a verb. Giving thanks is so much more than simply saying ‘thank you’ or cooking a turkey, isn’t it? It’s about the people in our lives and sharing in our joy together with them. Maybe that doesn’t happen every day, but just this one day that’s what it’s all about. And it’s beautiful.
Does your family do that thing where everybody takes a turn stating what they are most thankful for each year? Do you remember what you were thankful for last year? 10 years ago? When you were 7? I can’t remember what I said I was thankful for in 1990, when I was 7, and that’s no big deal really. But Mateo is 7 this year and I decided that he and all of my children will remember what they said when they were 7 and 8 and 16. I decided that the remembering is just as important as the giving thanks. This year I bought a journal to begin a new family tradition. We will write down what we’ve been thankful for this year, and every year to come, in our thanksgiving journal. Some Thanksgiving Day long in the future, it will be a treasure. When he is 29 he will know what he was thankful for this year when he was 7. Maybe he’ll laugh. Maybe all of them will when they’re grown and their perspective on what is valuable and worth being thankful for changes.
As for me, this year I am just thankful for them. That I get to be their mom.
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