Does anybody remember singing Thanksgiving hymns in church? “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come”? I’m missing the emphasis on something besides Black Thursday/Friday and shopping. Thanksgiving seems to disappear between Halloween and Christmas, more glamorous holidays.
One of my friends who has invited me to share Thanksgiving with her family for many years has a great custom. Her partner offers a blessing over the groaning board and the “hands that prepared it,” and then they go around the table. Each person has to name something they are grateful for.
Oprah calls it “an attitude of gratitude.” In a time of irony, entitlement and downright ennui, it’s nice to remember we are, often, lucky in so many ways. There is plenty of tragedy after Hurricane Sandy and the nor’easter–and there is tragedy every single day, sadness and hurt and hunger and despair.
My late boyfriend used to say, with irony, “Well, I didn’t get malaria today.” Yes, there are people who are richer or happier or more beautiful than we all are. But there are people who are much worse off. Let’s try to help someone else this holiday. And if nothing else, let’s be grateful for the family and friends we overeat with!
Happy Thanksgiving to all!