How to do Thanksgiving right.
first of all, breathe in
clear the mind
it’s not about expectation
it’s not about turkey
it’s not even about family
breathe out: remember
memories grounded in old ways
Thanksgiving is about giving thanks—but to what, to whom?
Let’s see: Thanksgiving is about origins.
Thanksgiving is about where we came from, and how we got here, and who helped us here.
Thanksgiving is about history: personal and societal
Thanksgiving is about taking the time to remember
to look back
Thanksgiving is about pain, and suffering. Giving thanks is about sitting down with those who’ve taken us in
Giving thanks is about peace, if only for a moment, in a life full of strife
with bombs falling in the Promised Land
and with our Native American hosts on the East Coast now long dead, most killed by greed
with heirloom corn nearly extinct, 99% of all corn gmo in only 10 years, patented for profits, manipulated by scientists for hire, playing evolution for pay
now Thanksgiving has become about mass slaughter
about gluttony while the world burns
Thanksgiving is what we make of it
so let’s make something full and warm and real and thoughtful
let’s keep it simple
eat real food, untouched by greed and poison
cook together, as we too rarely do
eat together, sitting down
eat only as much as we want, and perhaps a little more
drink only as much as we need
hug more than we can handle
without softening up
I don’t have a family, not much of one
so I’ve always had Thanksgivings with other families who’ve taken me in
I don’t cook, so I’ve always brought ice cream and wine and pie
but I help prep in the kitchen and learn stuff
I play with the children
I sit by the fire with a loved one
I find a home in loneliness and it burns happy, like a new beeswax candle
Thanksgiving is refuge, it is family, it is a too-rare time when family comes together and sits down and keeps it simple.
So put away the cell phone, unless you’re taking a photo.
Only take a few photos.
Try and keep it simple.
Turn off the TV—football watching is fun and a community event in itself—but today is about family, about being together, about love
and when we look back we’ll remember those days
like we meant it.
That’s my plan.