The celebration of Thanksgiving is a big deal in the USA. I know, I know Thanksgiving has allegedly been hijacked by Black Friday. I don’t buy that contention. The Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving is still one of the biggest travel days of the year according to the DOT. The multitudes of travelers are going home for Thanksgiving family reunions, not 50% off on a TV jacked up 75% from last Sunday.
Music is known as the universal language. However, I’d like to make a case for giving thanks to be the universal celebration. Did you know that China, Vietnam, Jerusalem, Africa, India, Korea and many other places around the world celebrate Thanksgiving too?
They do not give thanks for the same reasons or on the same day, but people all across this great globe find the time to be grateful. Sure the celebrations differ by date, rituals and customs, but the reason is essentially the same. All celebrations are thanks to their God for a bountiful harvest or blessings.
It has been years since the Wilkie Clan in Wisconsin traveled home for Thanksgiving. The girls are now working age and work in industries that require them to be on the job during the holiday season. So we exchange phone calls, e-mail and of course Facebook posts to our extended loved ones and celebrate with our immediate family 600 miles from where our hearts belong.
I like to use the word Gratitude as opposed to Thankful, but it is all the same in the end. What am I grateful for? People and memories are the things that I hold dearest in my heart. People who have been there through the good and the bad and love me the same either way. People I’ve shared common activities and interest with. People I’ve shared the same belief system with. People who see my faults and make constructive criticisms and help guide me toward improvement or healing or both.
What are the memories? It is the above stated people and activities that create fond memories. Introspection is a primary driver in my life and fond memories of people and activities occupy my idle mind frequently. I cherish both the good and the bad.
Memories of this Holiday would not be compete, however, without remembering the wonderful smells. Walking through Grandma Wilkie’s front door with the smell of turkey and stuffing in the air. Or on those special years when we arrived a day early and spent the night I remember waking to the smelling of freshly brewed coffee and that unmistakable aroma of fried bacon!
Yes food as stated in other ramblings is a staple of celebration in my mind, heck good food is a reason to celebrate and Thanksgiving is mecca of Holiday food for my money. This year, for health reasons, we will be cooking grain free dishes. They taste great, but require a little more work from the chef. Healthy cooking is a form of love and we will feel so this year.
As I write my Thanksgiving ramblings, Sherisse has a turkey in the brine waiting to be slow cooked in the oven Thursday morning. Most of the trimmings were prepared in advance like the grain free croutons to our stuffing and I can almost hear the Macy’s parade broadcast in the background. All is well in our little world.
No matter what is happening in your life or the greater world around us, it is great that so many people stop for at least a little while to be thankful for what we have. Remember that every day is a gift, the word present means gift. So lap up the precious present of today and be grateful for the people around you and every fond memory that they provide.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!