Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving more than Food?

Perhaps the most unique holiday that we Americans celebrate is Thanksgiving. It has no connection to God in any religion. And it is only celebrated here in America, commemorating the harvest of Indians and Pilgrims of old.

What does Thanksgiving really mean to the practicing Americans of today? Hard to say really. For those of little to no money, it means a day to put the world on pause, watch some football and enjoy an abnormally large turkey feast with those closest to us in our lives.

To those of us with means, it sometimes may feel almost as an obligation to host a crowd of so called associates and friends that seem to only talk well about you in front of your face.

Others see it as any other holiday in which a full-out party is scheduled. Annihilation in the form of alcohol seems to be the continuous theme amongst these types of shin-digs.

As with any long-lasting tradition it is natural to question the purpose of the event. Is Thanksgiving obsolete? What does it actually accomplish? Is it just another man-made pit-stop on the never-ending road of life?

I think that while this day of celebration we just embraced for almost the 150th time, is most certainly man-made, the concept of Thanksgiving is far from obsolete, and probably needed more than ever.

Thanksgiving requires spending a small fortune on food, drink, and other accoutrement.  But, for this one day, we experiences something, uniquely American. A day to celebrate humanity and forgetting about who has what. Instead, on this day I believe that most Americans look at each other through a different lens. We see each other as Human beings again, if only for a day. Something, we could all afford to do more than once every November.

This Thanksgiving I was thankful to have two guests from outside of my house join me at the table. I wish I could have had twenty. Each guest brought a simple delight to my home as I had forgotten what it was like to have people dine with me that were not family or close friends.

My only regret is that I can't feed more people on a regular basis. There is some grand appeal to being able to take care of friends and acquaintances in one of their most basic levels: food.

How nice life would be if we all treated each other as if it was Thanksgiving Day.

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