Givingthanks

As a writer who strives to develop and maintain a unique voice, I have to admit that coming up with a Thanksgiving Day blog entry, when so many thousands of bloggers will post something on the topic over the next few days, presents its challenges.

Mainly, I don’t want to appear cynical by not including a photo of a turkey or listing all the things I am thankful for, because the truth is that I love Thanksgiving! From the break from work, the traditional foods and family gatherings, to the pause we take to express our gratitude, I feel deeply nourished by the holiday in this time of darkening days and approaching winter.

And yet, it seems to me that the deeper, more profound potential of Thanksgiving can so easily be lost if all we do is give thanks for our good fortune without an accompanying humble awareness of just how many people are less fortunate, often significantly, desperately, violently, tragically less fortunate, than we are.

I know. Those are often difficult things to contemplate, and we want to enjoy ourselves on Thanksgiving, and here I am a big, fat, wet blanket. Right?

But it’s not cynicism or nihilism. Not really. I want everyone to enjoy the holiday as much as I desire to.

No, what I’m suggesting is actually rather simple. All I suggest is that we hold those less fortunate than us in our hearts as we enjoy our friends and family, our feast, our cozy homes, that we wish the same for them, and that we try as hard as we can to keep the idea alive that all living beings deserve a day off and a feast and a roof over their heads.

Happy Thanksgiving…to all!

2 thoughts on “Givingthanks

  1. A very nice blog and I share your sentiments entirely. Coming from England, I don’t celebrate “Thanksgiving” but we have a similar sort of family- coming -together time at Christmas. It’s also a time when people think of others less fortunate than themselves. As an American — do you go through all that twice, both in November and December?
    I’ve just finished 3 personal posts about Christmas — Childhood Innocence, Teenage angst and post divorce. I’ve discovered that I have a changing perspective about Christmas depending on my situation in life.
    Thanks for sharing your well written thoughts and enjoy Christmas now that Thanksgiving is over!

  2. Hello, Scrapheap Stuart! Love your screen name!

    Thank you SO much for your kind words and your perspective from across the pond, so to speak.

    Yes, Christmas, for those who celebrate it, is generally a family-coming-together time, close on the heels of Thanksgiving, and it’s funny you wonder about that timing, since I just had a blogger visit and like one of my posts yesterday who just wrote about the two-holidays-back-to-back phenomenon, in her own, humorous way on her blog.

    In my experience, Christmas hasn’t been a time for giving thanks, though many people do take the time to do that. Rather, it’s been primarily a time for just plain giving. (I’m staying positive here and avoiding the messy subject of over-the-top consumerism that tends to overshadow the meaningful parts of the holiday.)

    My own experience is rather more complicated because I’m married to someone who celebrates Christmas, I was raised Jewish and my son is exploring his Jewish heritage, so we celebrate Chanukah as a family as well. (And me, I’m more of a Buddhist than anything else these days.)

    I look forward to reading your Christmas posts when I have a chance, and thank you again for stopping by and sharing.

    Cheers, and Happy Christmas!

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