Saturday, November 25, 2017

Giving Thanks



For those of us stateside, I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday. We indulged in the same tradition that we've carried out for the past decade: the four of us (maybe an occasional friend) and NO traveling. For us, it's a time to relax and indulge. I make enough food to feed a family of ten, we stuff ourselves, have plenty of drinks and desserts, and generally enjoy a nice, long, set of days off. I get things done that I don't have time for generally, I get out and hike a few times, relax plenty, and visit with friends that time doesn't allow for me to see as often. For these reasons, I look forward to this holiday every year.

This year, I started thinking about the holiday and the idea of giving thanks. Giving thanks is how the holiday got it's name in the first place, but where did the idea come from? Thanksgiving has it's roots in the Harvest Festival - a festival that occurs every year around the harvest season in any given region, which can vary with crops & climate. People would celebrate - both with family and the community - the plentifulness of food and a time to relax from working in the fields.

The holiday is also rooted in the ancient practice of giving thanks for one's blessings. Early settlers in America were already practicing both traditions and, over the years, it evolved into the holiday that we celebrate now. Indeed, this is why the feast is so large and the reason we see all those "I'm thankful for..." posts on social media.

Do we need to wait for Thanksgiving to realize what we should be thankful for? The answer to that is: no. We definitely don't need to (and shouldn't) wait for the Thanksgiving holiday to give thanks. I'm thankful for all the good things in my life all the time. However, there's also nothing wrong with setting a time aside every year to be especially thankful for what we have. It's a nice way to ensure that we, indeed, do take a moment to realize our good fortune, no matter how large or small that might be. 

I hope you have something to be thankful for. I know I sure do. 


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