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Home > Blog > Thanksgiving
Out of Our Minds
Wednesday, November 23, 2005 10:23 AM
Thanksgiving
Kevin Salwen on Culture

I love Thanksgiving. For me, it has always represented a time to get together with family (yes, I know that has its moments) and friends. The meal is the tradition in itself. In our house, everyone at the table is asked to talk about things they are thankful for, and it ranges from embarrassed teens throwing off one-liners ('I'm thankful for my flipflops') to small kids talking about their dogs to adults being more spiritual. There are always surprises, and it can be very touching and funny.

I love that Thanksgiving is a holiday unencumbered by gift-giving, which can become the centerpiece of birthdays or Christmas or Hanukkah. At Thanksgiving, you're there for, well, Thanksgiving. The dinner is prepared with care, often in groups. While the turkey is cooking, we often play a ragged touch football game in the backyard with a rubber football we've dredged out of a garage. My sister Val always insists on playing quarterback.

(My only regret is that Thanksgiving increasingly seems to be a brief break in the Christmas selling season, which now begins on November 1 and blares at us for two full months.)

I'll take solace in this four-day break of turkey and family. I'll lap up the tradition. I'll intercept a pass from my sister. And I'll be thankful for many many blessings. I hope you are too.


2 comments

Janet Auty-Carlisle - 11/23/2005 6:42:43 PM
Hey Kevin, Nice thoughts. I am grateful that I can be grateful...It's long past Thanksgiving up here in Ontario but I still give thanks each and every day..not just once but many times. It sounds hokey to some I suppose but I don't care, it's they who are missing the point then. As for the football thing, that would be played in a field of snowflakes today if you were here.....Our first snowfall of the season has pounced upon us and, I can say, I am even grateful for that! Living la vida fearless, Jan
Mipiel - 11/23/2005 12:25:40 PM
Worthwhile reflections (as it were) on what too many Americans see as a speed bump on the two-month freeway that rushes headlong to Exxmas.

However, Thanksgiving with its emphasis on family, friends, and togetherness may a less than joyful day for many. I'm referring to those who either can't get away to visit distant family or have no family to visit, and whose friends are all away with their own families. While some of them surely make the best of it by celebrating what they're thankful for all by themselves, that isn't always easy to do. For that matter, the entire two-month 'holiday season,' with its constant barrage of media images of family and friends enjoying themselves, can be an unhappy time for many single people who have only the crowds and pressures of the season without the compensating benefits. If you encounter someone with a 'bah humbug' attitude during this 'most wonderful time of the year,' that may well be why.

Regardless, I wish you and yours all the pleasures that go with family, friends, and togetherness. Something to be thankful for in itself.

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