So, I started this post yesterday as a kind of catchall bin for some thoughts about Thanksgiving and Black Friday. I started rambling, got distracted by suspicious pie-shaped aromas emanating from the kitchen, forgot what I wanted to say, and then decided to save it for the morning.
It’s morning, now, and I still don’t remember what I was going to say. I was going to talk about Turkey Day, and how I wish people would stop calling it that. I really don’t like the casual admittance that our society has such plentiful resources that we expect a feast so enormous it will incapacitate us. I don’t like the air of glib consumerism that Turkey Day evokes, as though the day of Thanksgiving has been relegated to nothing more than a warm-up for a frenzied scramble to Acquire.
But then I realized that all that just sounds like grumbling and moaning, and that’s really the opposite of what I want to feel on Thanksgiving. If you’ve been following me since my somewhat rocky debut on Blogger last year,* I’ve put you through a lot of grumbling and moaning. I didn’t really blog much about what was going on in my life, but I wanted to take a moment to thank you for reading along with me anyway. You get extra credit for following along, because it’s pretty obvious that this blog has been chaotic, if nothing else. I’ve tried running regular themes, but we’ve seen how long those have lasted; it turns out, I write whatever I want!
*If you’ve been following me since my short-lived blogs on Xanga, Deadjournal, and Myspace, you get ten bonus points for each one!
I really like Thanksgiving. I like all holidays, really, but I have a special fondness for a day dedicated to gratitude. I like it because it’s a secular holiday. It’s open to people of every belief system. Certainly, for many, gratitude entails thanking a god for the gifts it has bestowed upon us. For the rest of us, it means spending the day telling our friends and loved ones how much we appreciate that they are in our lives, and acknowledging how much of our success has been made possible –directly or indirectly – by their support.
I truly believe that we should live a life of gratitude. If nothing else, it’ll brighten your day. When you’re thankful for what you have, you treat the world and its people better. But no matter who we are or what we believe in, our gratitude stems from a tacit understanding that what we’re thankful for are things that everybody doesn’t have.
That can be a tough, solemn nut to swallow, but a day of wanton festivities is a wasted day if we don’t allow ourselves a moment of repose to get serious and think about how amazing our lives are. Living a life of gratitude is an all-year process; it can’t be constrained to a single day. Still, heaven knows it’s easy to get bogged down by a year’s worth of toils; most likely you’re not thrilled to go in to work every day, and I bet you don’t make as much money as you’d like. Maybe you don’t even have a job, and the hunt gets depressing after the months start to stack up.
Thanksgiving is a great time to refresh, to think about the things we do have. Think about all the things you have that your life would be worse without.
I am thankful for all the people in my life who have been with me every step of the way. I am thankful for the people I see every day, and for the people I only see once a year. I’m thankful for the people in my house, the people across the Lehigh Valley, and the people across the country. I’m thankful for the people who are with me, and I am thankful to have known the people who have moved on. I am thankful for the people across the world who pursue their passions and, so doing, make the world better. I am thankful for my countrymen, even though we’ll never all agree on anything. Maybe because we’ll never agree on anything.
Yep, I’m thankful. I was thankful yesterday, on Thanksgiving, I’m thankful today, on Black Friday, and I’ll be thankful for the next 364 days until next Thanksgiving.
Happy holidays to you all!