In elementary school American children are taught the meaning of Thanksgiving. We dress up in Pilgrim or Indian costumes and gather around a table in a classroom where we share the treats we brought to class, wearing our paper pilgrim hats. I don’t remember a lot about it, but I do remember wanting to be an Indian. Other than the meal with our family, this is our first lesson in the true meaning of Thanksgiving. A kind of confusing one, I think since it veers pretty sharply away from that peaceful meal as we get older.
Years later that costumed meal turns into a four hour family production. A meal cooked together in the kitchen, some bickering over favorite tasks, but ultimately a 45 minute meal with friends and family that may or may not have traveled at length for the visit. And Football. Even if you hate it, digesting your meal in front of the big game is now built into that traditional day as well.
Then you add in the Thanksgiving Parade, Black Friday shopping, eating pie until you drop and you have a holiday that is about as far removed from that first meal that the Pilgrims ate with the Indians in Plymouth way back when. Today, my day in Nashville, TN, is just beginning. Soon, I will begin helping my family cook the big meal so we can stuff ourselves, sit and watch the big game, and (hopefully) I’ll finish the book I’m reading. Good stuff, definitely, but there are greater things than my own little world that I want to send out Thanks and Hope in the coming year.
The continued good health and happiness of my family.
The safety of my friends and family who have been through some trying times this year on the west coast with fires, floods, etc.
The hope that our nation will have more checks and balances and we will see some good decision making from our nations leaders. (this is a big question mark, but I can dream!)
That Peace, Love and Happiness become the most important things that our community strive for and that we celebrate our diverse nature.
Even if this is a holiday that you don’t celebrate, I’m sure there are some things that you are Thankful for this year, and Hopes and Dreams for you to strive for in the next year. Feel free to share them in the comments below!
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!