I LOVE Thanksgiving, and I don’t even like turkey. I don’t understand why our current culture glorifies Halloween–which is almost pagan in its concept–and skips over Thanksgiving and goes straight to Christmas. In my opinion (which is what this blog IS, after all), one autumnal feast worth celebrating in addition to Thanksgiving is All Souls Day, which is always on November 2. On that day people–particularly those people of Hispanic background–take the time to celebrate the lives of family members and others who have died. Some even take a picnic to the cemetery and share a meal together at the grave of a beloved relative. I think that’s a lovely tradition.
I love Thanksgiving because it, too, is about family. Our family manages to gather together to celebrate the day and be grateful for the time we have together. We pray together, we laugh together, and we feast together. This year there will be sixteen of us–biological family and adjunct family. My nephew David doesn’t look kindly on changing the menu since he is a traditionalist and loves all the dishes that have been part of the menu for years. However, I did manage to add a carrot souffle and brussels sprouts, but I think he just ignores them.
As I write this, I’m looking out my window at the bird feeder (the birds eat a lot, don’t they?) and the heated bird bath where the birds stop by for a sip and to fluff their feathers. I don’t like the cold and the snow, but I do like watching the birds make the best of everything. I wonder if they’re grateful that I feed them and give them water all winter. I think animals know who likes them and who doesn’t, and I also think that the birds talk to each other. So, they probably know that I like them.
Gratitude is what the Thanksgiving holiday is about. I am grateful that I grew up in a supportive family, that I have wonderful siblings, that my husband is probably the kindest man I have ever known, and that I have two wonderful children who married wonderful people, and I have two amazing grandchildren. I am grateful for my friends. I am grateful for those of you who take the time to read my blog each month. I am grateful that I have a place in my house where I can play with paint. And I’m grateful for dogs.
One final thing about being thankful. Yesterday was Veteran’s Day, and I am grateful for those men and women who put their lives on the line every day in the service of our country. And I’m also grateful for their families. This past Sunday, CBS featured amazing portrait artist Mary Whyte who has painted portraits of veterans from every State. If you didn’t get to see the program, or if you’re not familiar with her work, here’s a link: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/we-the-people-mary-whyte-watercolor-portraits-of-50-veterans-from-50-states/ Her work is spectacular.
I wish you the best Thanksgiving ever with your family and friends. And friends who have become like family. I am grateful for all of you.
But that’s just my opinion.