By the time you read this Thanksgiving post, all of our Christmas decorations will be up. That’s not so much me “rushing the season” but just the need to record a lot of videos with a holiday theme behind them. I’m going to attempt to take some time off in December so that means lots of recording in November.
Thanksgiving in the US is this week. By it’s very nature, it almost obligatory to write about what you’re grateful for. But here’s a little thing that very few people know… Lee and I only barely celebrate Thanksgiving. We live very far away from our birth families. Our “chosen families” are also quite far away. Lee can’t take vacation from work due to his job, so he only gets Thanksgiving Thursday off which makes travel simply impossible. I’ve done the whole TG pageantry in the past, but cooking all that food for just the two of us is a huge (and exhausting) chore only to be done eating in 20 minutes and then start the whole cleaning up aspect. In short, Thanksgiving as a holiday, simply doesn’t work for us as a traditional experience.
But then, I’ve never been all that traditional anyway. So we’ve created our own tradition.
We eat out. Where we live, nearly every nice restaurant has the big, traditional Thanksgiving available. We also do this on Christmas day, by the way. In fact, that’s where Thanksgiving “our way” came from. We had Christmas dinner in a restaurant and found the experience to be lovely.
Holidays can be really hard for some people for many reasons. I won’t bore you by listing them here, because we all know them. We’ve all experienced a blue, gloomy, or even heartbreaking holiday season in the past. And when that happens, it can be very difficult to summon the gratitude that Thanksgiving basically expects from us. And yet, it’s healthy to find a way. It’s important to break through the challenges we faced and at least acknowledge that we have things to be grateful for.
For Lee and I, we come up with a the things we are truly, grateful for. I’m not talking about things. It’s all too easy to be grateful for that thingey over there in the corner, or even big things like homes, etc. We try to focus on what truly wells up our heart with joy. Do we love our house? Of course we do. Are we grateful to have it? Yes we are. Does it well up my heart with joy?
But love does. Love wells up my heart. To see an exhausted, but triumphant (and dashingly handsome) Lee come home on Christmas Eve to our annual dinner wells up my heart with happiness. Walking Riley everyday and watching her adorable little butt go wiggle wiggle makes me smile from ear to ear. Getting to teach a bunch of amazing students my favorite topics and see their eyes light up with awakening gives my life meaning and purpose. These are the things that Lee and I try to focus upon on Thanksgiving. Not obligatory gratitude, but true, enduring gratefulness for love in our lives.
Thanksgiving is still nearly two weeks away, but writing to you in the here and now reminds me of what really matters to me. And that is what I’m going to be focusing on until Friday, November 25th.
Then it’ll be Holly Jolly Christmas all the way. 🙂
Happy Thanksgiving, y’all. Even if you don’t celebrate this particular day, let your heart feel the joy.
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