Thanks for Giving

Pumpkins and cornucopias and turkeys – oh my!

I’m sure all of you are right in the middle of your pre-Thanksgiving fast (no real food for the next two weeks.. Juice, juice, juice!), and mentally preparing yourselves for the substantial loss your bank account is about to take due to all of the holiday food (and Black Friday shopping) that is to come. However, while we all selfishly await the approach of the holiday that is supposed to reflect the love and appreciation we have for each other, maybe it’s time we actually sit and think a minute about what we truly are grateful for.

This past weekend, I had plans to write a paper and take photos for my photography class, maybe have my parents over for dinner, and of course take my dogs out to exercise. Something happened on Friday that prevented me from getting any of these things done (nothing life or death or really that serious, but it put a hold on all of my plans). And while the schoolwork is important, it really made me realize that I’ve been putting things that truly matter on the backburner.

Every year around Thanksgiving, something happens to stop me in my tracks. Usually it’s something small, but it always makes an impact. It always reminds me that this is truly a time for giving love and giving thanks. It is not a time for taking, and it is not a time to be selfish. We are embarking on the busiest and most stressful time of year, but it is exactly the right time to slow down our lives and step away to relish in the littlest moments.

Thanksgiving was originally the meal shared between the Indians and the settlers – a day in which differences were set aside and a common agreement was shared. Now, we come together as a family and stuff our faces with expensive food and overindulge in wine and spirits. Are we really thankful for this feast?

Maybe I’m just being cynical, but if we were really thankful for what we have, wouldn’t we just have another regular meal like it was just any given day? Shouldn’t we be preparing a meal for people who are not fortunate enough to afford such grandeur on their own? To me, that’s what Thanksgiving should be about. The Indians shared their crops and the animals they’d hunted with the settlers.. Shouldn’t we, the more fortunate, be sharing with the less?

I think I could happily forgo a Thanksgiving feast every year, knowing that someone who has never experienced the pleasure of a real holiday before was given the opportunity.

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