Mon. Nov. 25, 2019: Gratitude – The Holiday #upbeatauthors

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Monday, November 25, 2019
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This Thursday is American Thanksgiving, which, to me, is the ultimate Day of Gratitude.

I don’t dismiss the concerns from communities who have a problem with celebrating a holiday that, for them, was the precursor to land theft and genocide.

What I hope is that we can turn it into a day of gratitude between family, chosen family, friends, and inclusive community.

Instead of denying that our ancestors did terrible things to each other (and too many of our fellow humans continue to do the same), we take the day to imagine our ideal society, a place of friendship and tolerance and progress and education and art and science and community. When we express gratitude for each other, and find ways to work on getting closer to our ideal, instead of moving away from it. We work to do better, to BE better than those before us.

Our traditional Thanksgiving (which I’ve attended for more than forty years) takes place in a rented VFW hall. Dinner is anywhere from 37 to 60 people. Everyone cooks; everyone helps clean up. It’s extended family and any friends people want to bring. There’s always room for one more at the table. Which is the way it should be.

I’ve missed a few over the years, due to distance (when I lived on the West Coast) or illness. But most years, I rearrange my life so I can attend. I mash the enormous vats of potatoes with a four-foot tall masher. Some years, I’ve had to stand on a step stool to get enough leverage.

Way back when this dinner started, it was agreed that there would be no arguments in that space on that day. I used to have a box right inside the front door marked “Ego Drop. Leave Your Ego Here.”

We don’t need it anymore. Even when people are in the midst of long-running disagreements, we suspend them for the day.

We remember that, in spite of everything, we are grateful that we have each other.

How will you celebrate gratitude this week?

 

Published in: on November 25, 2019 at 5:54 am  Comments (4)  
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4 Comments

  1. With my children. But in the morning I will venmo or PayPal an indigenous family or organization a small donation. I started doing that last year and now give to the Native American Rights fund monthly. Reparations, yo. My husband and I also open the gratitude jar where we’ve been placing notes of thanks since last Thanksgiving.

    • What wonderful traditions!

    • I also love the gratitude jar. And Devon wonderful post as always. I love your big Thanksgiving celebration.

      • We didn’t get to go this year, but it’s always a lot of fun.


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