I admit it. I’m simple. That’s why Thanksgiving appeals to me. Yes, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and the Fourth of July all have their perks, but there’s something unassuming and lovely about Thanksgiving. Here are eight things I adore…
The Macy’s Day Parade — I know it’s corny, but sautéing onions in butter and sage while listening to high school bands is fun. I like the sound of snare drums and horns while getting the bird ready for the oven. Maybe its because I don’t get to hear this music much. I love watching all those eager young faces from Dayton, Boulder, and Baton Rouge. It shows how no matter what’s going on in the world, magic still exists. If you work hard you can make it to the Big Apple. You can march in one of the country’s largest, most famous parades.
Thanksgiving’s inclusive. This holiday is for everyone. There are no dividing lines between religion, political party, gender, or heritage. We’re all Americans today. Whether you’ve been here ten generations or just arrived, the entire country’s invited. Pull up a chair and dig in.
There’s no decorating. This is big. Yes, Christmas may be majestic and beautiful, but there’s something lovely in the modesty of Thanksgiving. There are no epoch-shattering house-festooning projects, no dragging full-grown firs into the living room, no fights over tree lights, running out of batteries, or getting twisted up in garland. All Thanksgiving asks is a nicely set table… if that’s no trouble.
Thanksgiving is a gift-free zone. This is also big. There’s no frantic count-down, or nail-biting over packages sent a tad too late, no trying to remember who got what last year. Is it tacky to mail gift cards…again? All Thanksgiving asks is togetherness whether it’s two people or fifty.
That meal – Turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, creamed onions and butternut squash. For dessert, our family has pumpkin pie with homemade whipped cream (courtesy of son Paul and nephew Sean who traditionally whip up a bowl). I have this meal once a year and crave it weeks in advance. (In fact, I’m craving it now as I write this).
I love how my family has spent over sixty Thanksgivings together. What can I say? We’ve always lived close by. I also love how our celebrations are drama-free. Looking back, I have only good memories of this holiday, a gift not everyone can claim. For that, I give credit to my mother and beloved late father.
The simple beauty of Thanksgiving — Our family sits down around 4:00 p.m. As we eat, I love how the sky turns from blue to mauve and finally deep rose. The room goes from daylight to candlelight. For me, this moment is spiritual, ushering in the holiday season. Another year is coming to a close. Outside the air is cold. Snow is probably in our future. But like many families, we’re grateful to be warm and fed and together. This is when I feel the real meaning of Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is gone as quickly as it comes. Like any considerate guest, Thanksgiving doesn’t linger. It’s gone before you know it. Everyone helps clean. And later, I get into my pajamas for the 37th viewing of “Sound of Music.” I’ll sit back and have my second (third?) piece of pumpkin pie.
And that’s it. What could be better?
Thank you, Thanksgiving. Thank you for being so simple…yet so beautiful.
What are your thoughts on Thanksgiving? Comments are always welcome and if you like, please share.
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