I know I’m a few days late for a Thanksgiving-themed post, but the long weekend gave me some time to think about what exactly gratitude means to me. Thanksgiving is an awfully fun holiday, usually packed chock-full of food and family and friends. There is pie and wine and binge-eating and carb-loading. There is music and laughter and impromptu games of touch football and chilly walks in the woods. These are all things I love. But sometimes I wonder if all the food and fun doesn’t distract us from what Thanksgiving is about.
I’m not talking about Pilgrims and Native Americans (although I recently learned that the First Thanksgiving probably featured eel as a main course, among other things). I’m talking about being grateful for the things we busy, self-absorbed, attention-challenged humans rarely take the time to thing about, let along express our gratitude for. In 1621, a feast was held to celebrate a good harvest and the sharing of knowledge between two disparate people. These days, what does the feast stand for? Does gorging ourselves on stuffing and pie really express our gratitude for all the things we own and the people we love and the lives we experience?