Why I Used to Hate Thanksgiving
I used to hate Thanksgiving. I know how horrible and ungrateful that sounds, but I was a child at the time I had this seething loathing towards the one day of the year set aside to count our blessings. To be true, I loved the food, specifically the jelled cranberry sauce. (Some of you cringed just then as I know many people think it's entirely gross, but I loved it then and I love it now). I was happy when relatives came over for a huge feast that my Mom spent hours (probably days) planning, shopping, and cooking for. It was good to see extended family that maybe we hadn't seen in a bit. The day was usually snowy and my Dad and brothers hunted that morning. Relatives started appearing midday and the house was warm and smelled divine.
Why the hatred then, you wonder? As I child it was a disappointment of sorts. I remember specifically a Thanksgiving when I was about age five. I remember being bored and cranky over this woefully presentless holiday. This was also the Thanksgiving I chose to inform my very bald Grandpa Rosevear that he indeed had a hairless head. I'm sure he was unaware he was bald until I told him and I'm also equally sure that my embarrassed and proper Mom swallowed her tongue when she heard me say that.
As an adult I've come to relish the ease of Thanksgiving. Certainly it gets crazy, especially when I do the "big shop" for all those many ingredients that will transform into delicious dishes on the Thanksgiving table. But considering other holidays, Thanksgiving is the least stressful, if you think about it. There are no presents to purchase, no stockings to stuff, no baked goods to share, no programs to attend, no cards to send, no baskets to fill, no element of surprise, no planning for months previous. Thanksgiving is designed for simple things (no, not football). It's for giving thanks, being together, inviting others in who maybe don't have anyone else to welcome them. It's truly a day to be nostalgic and be thankful for those who are here and those who used to be. It's a day to eat, wear elastic waist pants, eat again, and rest. It's a day of reflection. When we sit at our tables on this Thanksgiving, let's give thanks for the bounty before us whether it's at our home, someone else's or a meal served at a diner or your work cafeteria. Let's be truly thankful for the freedoms we enjoy, those who defend them, for our family, friends, jobs, warm clothing, transportation, health care, and all the things we hold dear. Those are the best presents of all. Happiest of Thanksgivings to all!