Thanksgiving has never been one of my favorite holidays. For many people it’s all about the food and I’m not a fan of most of the food (except rolls! Why don’t we eat more rolls?!?!). I used to be a big pumpkin pie eater but, like a lot of things that you ate too much of as a kid, I tired of it after awhile.
Anyway, the one thing that I did enjoy was visiting. Having an extended break to be with my family and my wife’s family as well as seeing hometown friends that I don’t see often. I will miss that this year.
This year my wife and I made the difficult but well informed decision to stay at home for Thanksgiving. Just she and I and our younger daughter. To say it’s not difficult would be untrue.
We can bloviate for hours about how terrible 2020 is and how some government officials have taken away our freedom or we can just be thankful for what we have. My grandparents lived through the Great Depression and two World Wars. I don’t believe that what we are currently acquainted with even comes close to those experiences. At least not for me. As a society we have gone soft if we think that our current situation even holds a candle to what previous generations have lived through.
The daughter that lives with me will undoubtedly point out that I am speaking from a perspective of privilege and I realize that. But, also, the people that I see on social media ranting about injustice have at least a similar frame of perspective. No, everyone in this country doesn’t have as much to be thankful for as I do. Yes, it’s tough for millions of people right now. It’s not tough for them because they have to wear a mask or they can’t get stupid drunk on Thanksgiving Eve. It’s not tough for them because there’s a run on toilet paper or because they can’t have twelve people around their Thanksgiving table. If you think you’re getting screwed, change your perspective.
From what I see and read, people of privilege seem to be the least thankful. Imagine that you were thankful because you got to sleep in a bed last night. Imagine that you are thankful that your neighbor dropped off a plate of food for you to eat alone at your table. Imagine that you are thankful that you picked up an extra shift so you could now pay the rent this month.
This year I had to make a conscious decision to be happy. It’s not always easy but I know there is something everyday to be happy for; to be thankful for. In our family we have had the unofficial motto ‘Bring the Joy’ for several years and a couple of years ago we added ‘This is the day that the Lord has made, let us be glad and rejoice.’
We will do both. We can all do both!