It's that time of year again. Bah!
To say that Thanksgiving is my least favorite holiday would be the understatement of the year. I am clearly not a fan. I don't know how much of this attitude comes from my age (I'm over 40. Fine. I'm 60) and how much comes from experience and wisdom. I'm going to go with experience and wisdom here.
For years I have preferred a laid back celebration of Thanksgiving by inviting friends and family over as we spend the day in our jammies, eating Chinese take-out, watching old movies, and playing board games by the fire with martini's and wine for all! Now THAT'S my kind of Thanksgiving! No muss, no fuss.
I am seriously NOT a fan of the overindulgence, the turkey, cranberries, stuffing, and overeating. Not to mention all those hours spent cooking in the kitchen only to spend even more hours cleaning it all up.
All of this explains a lot about my resistance towards the holiday that celebrates a man taking a piece of country away from its native inhabitants and claiming it for his own. Maybe we should commemorate the holiday by walking into someone's home and declaring it as ours. Just saying.
Like it or not, Thanksgiving comes around every year. And while I know it's a time of year to be grateful for our blessings, the thing is, sometimes I don't feel very grateful. Sometimes I just feel tired and a bit annoyed. Life can be exhausting.
There seems to be so much to worry about this time around. The brewing violence in the Middle East, a Congress of buffoons and a Senate of fools that don't play well with others, Edward Snowden, federal government closures, global warming, our country's fiscal uncertainty, illness, loss, epic natural disasters, and let us not forget the still imploding Health Care Act that is limping towards the finish line.
Yes, I'm feeling a bit grumpy this year. Am I the only one that would like to escape the holiday?
What I'd really like to do this Thanksgiving is retreat to a quiet vineyard, take a good book, a good man, and my dog (not necessarily in that order), and lay low for the weekend enjoying the countryside, the wine and the people. Just quiet sleep-in mornings, musical late night evenings and days of daydreaming of things to come and the planning of future adventures. That is NOT, however, how I will be spending the holiday.
The wonderful man in my life somehow convinced me to host the holiday at home for a few choice friends and family, a tradition he values greatly. I'm not sure exactly how it all happened, but before you can say 'Christopher Columbus', I was menu planning.
A diabolical turn of events and a far cry from my Thanksgiving ritual of feasting on oodles of Chinese food and laying low with friends, family and half the neighborhood. While I am always pleased as punch to gather with these awesome people, the jury is still out as to whether I can be recruited into the Thanksgiving spirit.
Feeling more like the Grinch than a thankful pilgrim, I will work on ridding myself of this turkey-sized chip on my shoulder and focus deeply on those things that I am fortunate enough to enjoy in my life; the love of a good man, a loving family, two good-for-nothing cats and a bossy dog, wonderful friends, a career I love, a pantry full of food and a warm and welcoming home to house it all in. I would add to that list; a bright future. A girl can hope.
We no longer live in the Norman Rockwell world of Thanksgiving. There are as many different ways to celebrate Thanksgiving as there are people. Families morph and splinter, people move away, kids grow up, and some of us meet and fall in love with people that don't value the Chinese food idea of Thanksgiving (I'm not mentioning names).
Whether you spend your holiday in your jammies munching on Chinese food or up to your elbows in turkey, relatives and football, I hope gratitude finds its way to you.
Of course Chinese food is never a bad idea!