Or, Welcome to a Belated Thanksgiving Day post.
This Thanksgiving, I welcomed not one, but two people for their first Thanksgiving. Unlike previous years where we just sit on down to the turkey and all the trimmings (isn’t this always the way it’s stated: turkey and all the trimmings?) my non-first Thanksgiving guests and I all tried to explain the meaning of the holiday. We actually tried to begin the meal by saying what we were ‘thankful for,’ but didn’t get very far since everyone was hungry. (Personally, I was thankful that I brined the locally sourced, free range turkey I bought at the local farmers’ market, since it was easily the best turkey I’ve ever made.)
In any event, we had a great meal and great time, and not much thought was given again to the holiday, except trying to tell the guests that everything we did was “traditional,” including whooping it up with the neighbor’s karaoke machine.
It wasn’t until Friday night, when a friend was over and we discussed the holiday, that a meaning emerged. My friend thought about the holiday for a second and said, “Well, it doesn’t really seem like an American holiday, since giving thanks just seems so, well, modest and humble.”
And, it does. And, unlike other US holidays, it’s not overly patriotic or militaristic. It truly is a gem of a holiday. What could be nicer than giving thanks?
A few days later, NPR’s Talk of the Nation had a story regarding wealth in the US. In this piece, which, admittedly I half listened to since I was multitasking, the complex ‘class system’ of the US was discussed, along with the lifestyles of the super wealthy (think domestic help: not the cleaning person once a week, but household staff that you lose track of).
While this isn’t the newest subject on the planet, another reporter/audio talking head person was discussing wealth here, too. She mentioned something to that fact that if you think of it, most of us are wealthy compared to many places in the world. We have safe, clean, well lit places to live, clean running water, food on a table, etc. etc.
It actually sounded less hackneyed when she stated it, but the sentiment is worth remembering.