November 22, 2023

Ten Mostly Obvious Ways to Enjoy your Thanksgiving. ~ Waylon

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” ~ Thornton Wilder

Thanksgiving is bloody, both in history and in present. I’ve written about both for many years, including here and here, and dozens of other Elephant writers have done so, too.

But it’s also just about my favorite holiday, perhaps, as it is for so many of us. It’s about friends, and community, and family, and slowing down, and sitting down to eat, and talk, and listen, and come together in this age when no one comes together but everyone comments and yells and replies and hates on and calls out.

So let us acknowledge what it was, and is, and then drop that, and move into something that creates more love, not more suffering.~

Relephant reads:

>> Best Thanksgiving Blog Ever.
>> A Buddhist Thanksgiving.
>> The Secret History of Thanksgiving.


“I feel a very unusual sensation—if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude.” ~ Benjamin Disraeli

10 mostly obvious Thanksgiving tips:

turkeys thanksgiving buddhist killed1. Let’s not buy a conventional turkey. Free-range doesn’t mean much. Let’s go out of our way to support small farmers and healthy turkeys. We are what we eat. Conventional turkeys are tortured for life, no exaggeration, and we’re eating a baby and stealing said baby away from mommy and we breed them to be too fat to walk or scratch an itch. Buy a well-treated, healthy bird who gets to walk outside, or go veggie (here’s Thanksgiving recipes).

I’m a vegan boy and there’s lots of lovely yummy alternatives (including adopting a turkey!).

2. Right now, let’s all post on our IG, Tiktok, Facebook, or text or email out…an invitation to an “orphan.” Many college kids and single folk don’t have a family to celebrate with. I should know–for years I’ve bounced around to various family dinners, and every invite has made all the difference in my life, filling me with gratitude where loneliness would have been.

Corollary: if you are alone, make sure to “treat yo’self”: be honest with yourself about your emotions, but also remember to shrug and say “oh well” and let them go. Meditation practice helps. Make a happy sweet best of it. Take lots of baths, watch wonderful cozy movies with your pets if you got ’em, facetime with family and loved ones, fall in love with a good book, you know.

3. Don’t engage in the same old toxic family relationships. Take a step back, and let go of our self-righteousness, and let go of our preconceptions of mean old Uncle Bobby or whomever. At the same time, give yourself a break from them if you need it. Support your partner if they’re struggling with your, or their family.

4. Get that bike out of your parent’s garage, or wherever you’re visiting, and give it a spin. It’ll make us happy. Don’t like to bike? Go for a long walk a day, and keep the unwanted weight gain at bay. At the same time, if you are out of the shape you’d like to be in, be kind and honest to and with yourself. No beating yourself up, no guilt tripping.

5. Enjoy your food, bite by bite. Here’s how. Eat real food (including pumpkin and cranberries!), not too much, and mostly plants (Thanks, Mike).

6. Meditate (again here’s how) in the morning. This will help us to appreciate ourselves, our loved ones, our family, and the gaps in between a sometimes-claustrophobic holiday. Or, do yoga.

happythanksgiving7. Don’t shop on Thanksgiving day, unless we need to. If we do go by the grocery or what have you, tip extra, and thank whomever helps you out, even (especially) if they’re in a bad mood. Maybe they’re stressed, broke, have a family at home without them…

8. Help someone else by doing buying the needy food (here’s a shopping list), or engaging in a random act of kindness. We may find the person we’re helping most in doing so is our own sweet tired harried selfish self.

9. Find yourself in a bad mood? Go outside. Breathe deeply, and look at the universe above, and feel the ground below, and breathe deeply again, and feel gratitude in your heart for something, anything, and breathe out, and let go.

10. Say thank you.


Giving thanks—and meaning it—is the shortest, easiest, fun-est route to happiness ever “invented.” Let’s do so. Thank you, dear readers, for helping us serve you (we mean that—we aim to be of benefit), and enabling us to pay our wonderful team. We promise to remain independent, to do our best, and to mess up. Stick with us, and we’ll stick with you.

With thanks, Waylon.

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