[Editor's Note: I first offered this sentiment nine years ago. Since then, I've lost everything, several times over, except for my family, so I have lost nothing. We will have Thanksgiving today, and mean it. You should, too]
There are lots of news stories available -- the majority of them, I think -- expounding on the horrors of Thanksgiving. "Send us your dysfunctional family Thanksgiving disaster stories" is the lede on every radio program I can find, at least those that haven't jumped the gun entirely and started with, "Tell us your Christmas horror stories."
I'm not having it. Thanksgiving is lovely. Or it should be.
Thanksgiving doesn't beat around the bush. Right in the name it tells you it's a day to be grateful. Complaining about it seems to me to be like going to the art museum and complaining that the paintings are obscuring your view of the walls.
Hmm. Perhaps that's a bad simile. I've been to many museums where the dropcloth daubs they hang on the walls aren't as interesting as the off-white paint, now that I consider it. So please insert Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy in the preceding paragraph where art museum appears. Thanks.
Anyway, it's not about you. For one day, at least, I don't want to hear about your crabby attitude towards your assembled family and your overcooked turkey. I don't want to hear about the lousy TV you've got to watch the football game on. I don't care if you don't like the floats that drift by Macy's like garish barrage balloons. Put a sock in it. It's not about you.
It's not about any of us. It's about remembering that everything we have is a gift, and we could lose it, and we should take time out from our lives for one day a year and acknowledge that.
Have you ever been in a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving? I hate the preening socialites and politicians that visit there on Thanksgiving to get face time on TV. I think much more kindly about the people that feed those poor souls on November 22nd and November 24th, when the cameras aren't interested.
There's a look on a person's face, when someone gives them something they need that they might not have otherwise. It's the look on the face of the man in line at the soup kitchen. It's gratitude.
I'm going to give it a try tomorrow, that look. It looks like Thanksgiving.