Thanksgiving: Have We Forgotten the Meaning?

Is it over yet?

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching I’ve been thinking about this holiday, the meaning, and how so few people remember what the point of it is. The particular catalyst for this train of thought was a conversation I recently had with my BFF who happens to also be family.

When I was a child, Thanksgiving was something we looked forward to, the beginning of the Holiday Season. It was about family, joy, and celebration. It was also the one time of the year we had a feast of turkey. As I’ve grown older I’ve noticed a lack of thanks and an overabundance of commercialism we should be all ashamed of. I’m not saying we’ve all forgotten the point, but as a country obsessed with the accumulation of everything from gadgets to the wealth required to buy them and often the 15 minutes of fame Andy Warhol waxed poetic about, we’ve lost something of vast importance.

Gratitude.

In the beginning, celebrations of thanksgiving were born of the wish to thank our creator for the blessings we had and not the need to one up that sister, brother, uncle, aunt, or cousin with the perfect holiday get together. Or Goddess forbid about getting a free meal and then hitting the road with as many leftovers as we could stuff in our pockets. Neither was it about putting ourselves in hock or trying to make every family member happy to the detriment of our sanity.

Gratitude has become a thing of the past replaced quite often by what I like to refer to as the Poor Me Syndrome. In a culture born of media and wealth we’ve been told what we need to count for jack shit in this world. So rather than see what we already have we’re always looking to the other side of the fence and coveting what our neighbor has. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with admitting we’re a little jealous, but when we allow it to control every aspect of our lives then it’s gone too damn far and we’ve forgotten the entire point of a holiday like Thanksgiving.

So, this year as your family and friends gather in preparation for Turkey Day think not about what you don’t have, but rather those things you do have. Be grateful if you have a job (no matter how little it pays), a roof over your head, family and friends that care for you, and never lose sight of how it could be worse. Because trust me folks there are always people who have it worse even if you refuse to believe it. Show the gratitude in whatever way you can whether it be inviting a friend who’s alone this year to share a meal, offering to help clear the dinner table, or even a simple thank you to the benefactor of your holiday meal. Hugs work as well. Simply crawl out of your self-induce tunnel of misery and open your eyes.

You might discover just how much you have to be thankful for.

Until Later…Blessed Be

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One comment on “Thanksgiving: Have We Forgotten the Meaning?

  1. Pingback: Gratitude 96: My Family « Perpetual Gratitude: A Photographic Diary

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