Thursday, November 26, 2009

Potato Potahto, Tomato Tomahto

When I think of the Thanksgiving holiday and its origin, I think of the Pilgrims and their harvest celebration. I’ve always sort of thought as the holiday as a reminder to think about the Pilgrims, their hardships and all they did to forge a life in a harsh wilderness. In today’s society, Thanksgiving has become many things: a holiday to gorge oneself with food, a holiday to watch football, a holiday that marks the beginning of the holiday season (and its shopping) – basically it’s a holiday, a day off from work and school. At our house, we always spend a few minutes before our meal going around the table and each saying what we are thankful for, but the overall idea of thankfulness has, I believe, taken a backseat to the Pilgrim images and today’s eating/football/shopping mentality. Even when I think about the reason for the holiday, I again go back to remembering the Pilgrims. Yesterday, my friend Rose sent an email saying, “We are certainly lucky to live in a country that dedicates a holiday every year solely to being thankful for all that we have and enjoy.” No reference to Pilgrims, food or football; just thankfulness (aka gratitude). So, today I am going to celebrate Gratitude Day. We’ll still do our Thanksgiving Day traditions: early morning Turkey Trot, hot croissants for breakfast afterwards, maybe some football on TV, traditional turkey dinner this evening and a mention before dinner of what we are each thankful for – and maybe this is just a matter of semantics: thanksgiving vs. gratitude, but the words evoke different emotions for me. So, today I’m not going to think in terms of Thanksgiving Day; I’m going to think in terms of Gratitude Day. I am going to go through the day truly thinking about all that I have to be grateful for. If you are here at my house, you probably won’t even know that I’m having my own special experience – except, perhaps, for the goofy little grin I’ll be wearing on my face. Happy Gratitude Day!

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