If you haven’t been bursting with excitement and counting down the days on your Turkey-themed calendar, then you probably figured it out based on the number of Black Friday emails you got this week: Thanksgiving is here.
Just like every other holiday (commercial or otherwise), it’s no secret that these days are either highly anticipated or severely dreaded – there really isn’t much of an in-between.
We obsess over who’s traveling where and which in-laws will bring their dogs and what kind of cringy boyfriends will be brought home from college. We break out the secret family recipes we had to bribe our mother-in-laws to get before we buy enough meat, stuffing, and vegetables to feed a small army. We plan games and seating charts and holiday movie marathons for after the big meal. We stock up on zip-lock baggies for leftovers…or we sit back and watch football (again, rarely an in-between).
We’re reminded of how grateful we should be for this, that, and the other, because it’s Thanksgiving, and you’re kind of a jerk if you don’t say you’re thankful for something.
By the end of the day, we’re exhausted. Most of us are probably replaying conversations in our heads wishing we would have had the guts to say something. Or worse, we’re trying to work out the least crappy way to apologize for that super crappy thing we did say two hours ago.
Even if the day went perfectly, and everyone left the house smiling, We’re. Still. A. Mess.
Rather than give you 5 Tips for a Perfect Turkey (I’m a vegan and am literally no help), or 9 Ways to Make a DIY Centerpiece (I’m also useless with crafts), I’m going to give you a Truth.
Good, bad, or ugly, Thanksgiving is just another Thursday.
When your grandma asks if there’s anyone “special” in your life even though she knows perfectly well you’re still single? It’s just a Thursday.
When Uncle Bruce has one too many Blue Moons and asks his in-laws what they think about the small-handed-orange running the country? It’s still just a Thursday.
When the food takes forever, the bickering is at an all-time high, and you somehow end up laughing until your stomach feels like it’s being stretched out like silly putty? You guessed it — it’s just a Thursday.
Our generosity and our gratitude are not limited to one holiday season.
We’re taught as children that everything we have is a gift, and we should always be grateful for what we have. What are we constantly reminding kids they need to say? Thank you.
Children know that Thanksgiving is a day when they see the cousins and aunts and uncles who are way more fun than their own siblings, but they don’t see it any differently than every other time their family comes together.
We teach them to be thankful for everything from a carton of milk in the cafeteria, to the friend who opens the door, to their parents taking them out for ice cream. Before they are old enough to realize it, they’ve established a practice of daily gratitude.
We’ve lost this, as adults. So, we freak out when we come to a season where everything is supposed to be perfect and happy and heartfelt and meaningful and all of the things we wish we could make happen every other day but always fail to accomplish.
What would happen if we reminded ourselves that this holiday is just. a. day.
Here’s Some Good News:
We’re still us, our family is still our family, and our house is still our house. Rather than create a pressure-cooked holiday that demands perfection, we can make a conscious decision to let the cards fall where they may.
Does that mean we shouldn’t make a totally B.A. pumpkin pie or play a million rounds of “Catchphrase?” Heck no! Go for it! What it does mean is that we can choose to see this is a day that reminds us of the blessings we encounter every single day of the year. And if we mess up? Here’s another Truth:
The world will keep spinning, our people will still be our people, and tomorrow, we’ll have a million chances to be thankful.
On this day of “thanks,” remember this: You’ve had worse, you’ll definitely have better, and I’m pretty sure it’s against the laws of nature for the world to end before the Macy’s Day Parade has successfully shown off every one of those massive balloons — so, you’ve at least got that going for you.
Enjoy your day, all.