Sorry for participating in the Thanksgiving overkill, but I figured this was a good a time as any to write about this.
While I am a fan of giving thanks, I am not a fan of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is another exaggerated and incongruous element of American culture. The other 364 days money and work take precedent over gratitude and even family. I know this as I consistently survey my students to see how many have real sit-down dinners with family, few do. I do not celebrate Thanksgiving, but I try to be grateful every day. An example of this might be the daily gratitude diary that I have written for years now. It is quite simple and rewarding, here is how it works. Find a blank notebook and then you write:
Monday – Three things that you are grateful from the weekend.
Tuesday – A good thing that you did or that happened to you, now or in the past.
Wednesday – Write down a resolution… and then fulfill it!!
Thursday – Letter of thanks. To anybody dead or alive, real or fiction, whatever.
Friday – Three good things from the week.
Weekend – rest
I use this as part of my evening meditation practice, and I find it extremely calming and satisfying.
Now, back to Thanksgiving. While the holiday does nothing for me, I love how quiet it is! It is the quietest day of the year! So, I can go for a run or a walk, stay home and watch a movie, cook, or write my blog.
We are blessed at work, because our kitchen staff led by Philippe from Bordeaux cooks an amazing Thanksgiving dinner for lunch a few days before the break, so I do get my share of turkey, stuffing, pies, etc. Also, this year my friend Manuel invited me on Friday to have dinner with his kids, so that was fun.
This year I celebrated Thanksgiving by delivering dinners to low income or sick people. It was organized very well by my parish, and I drove around all over Boynton Beach delivering meals. People were really grateful, which made it all worthwhile. Oh, for myself? I cooked some killer spaghetti!!