Sunday, November 18

Anticipating Thanksgiving

The Food Network has been showing past Thanksgiving-themed episodes of Chopped and the Thanksgiving hotline with some of the more luminary of the Food Network stars to answer questions.  The Black Friday commercials are increasing.  The shelves of the grocery stores have been featuring typical Thanksgiving ingredients for a few weeks now.

If I had to choose a favorite holiday, it would be Thanksgiving.  Yes, because it's about food, but also because it's about family (however you might choose to define "family") and friends.

For the past several years I've been fortunate enough to be part of a group of friends who celebrate Thanksgiving in large, fine style.  There are a number of people who contribute to the food, bringing wines and favorite side dishes and desserts.  There are conversations in different corners and spaces of the house.  People drift from conversation to conversation, stopping to nibble at the appetizers.

Some time later, people start to put dishes on the table.  Soon the turkey is carved and earnest eating of the Thanksgiving fare begins.

Dinner take some time as people talk, compliment and comment on the food, talk about family traditions, and just enjoy the company.

There are those who need to leave early to make a dessert stop elsewhere and others who come to join the crew for dessert.

The undercurrent is one of thanks.  Thanks for friends, for family, for possibilities, for options.  Thanks for all that we have and that from which we have to choose

The context of that first Thanksgiving was to celebrate survival; to celebrate and be thankful for those Native Americans who helped ensure that survival.  It was, in some respects, a way of paying forward.

If you are one who is able to celebrate Thanksgiving, who will have a table crowded with food, who will be in the people whose company you enjoy, be thankful.  And think of those who do not.  Those for whom Thanksgiving might be another seemingly meaningless day for any one of a number of reasons.  Those who may have lost much in the fury that was Superstorm Sandy or in the circumstances of its aftermath, or in other tragedies through which so many often struggle just to survive.  And if you have a chance to help a food pantry or a soup kitchen, or if you can contribute to one, or if you can write a check to Meals on Wheels or a local charitable agency or religious organization that provides for those in need, please do so.

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. -Thornton Wilder

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