Just before every Thanksgiving we decide on the menu, call relatives and friends and plan a day around sharing – food, laughter and, memories. Not counting the elaborate meal plans, it’s a fairly simple day spent in the company of people that we love.
Oh, there are a few brave souls who decorate for the holiday with horns of plenty and the occasional pilgrim, but compared to its two neighbors on the calendar, (Halloween and Christmas), Thanksgiving is fairly quiet in the consumer-driven market of ghouls, glitz, and over-the-top commercialism.
Maybe it’s because I’m growing older. Or perhaps it’s because I’m just getting tired of lugging decorations down two stories, but I have a growing fondness for this holiday that gets lost at the end of November. In most houses, the day starts out rather nicely watching a parade and enjoying the smells wafting through the house. Then sometime halfway through dinner most folks have decided that there’s too little time left for Christmas shopping–so they’d better start that night and everyone shifts into Christmas warp speed.
But before the Christmas train comes screaming into the station, I’d like to take a moment and ponder just why I like this holiday so much. It’s pure and simple – the way it was so many years ago. And it delivers a gift of thankfulness and a deliberate reason to slow down – even if it is just for one day.
It’s a day that “the English” in Lancaster County spend much the same way as their Amish neighbors – giving thanks and being grateful.
In the past, I’ve made lists of the things for which I was thankful. But I think the bigger picture is the lesson of being grateful in and of itself. And that’s the part of Thanksgiving that we need to carry with us throughout the year.
To be able to count our good fortune is a gift in itself. And perhaps the lesson is that there is always a reason to be thankful. We are so blessed to live in a country where we can control our own destiny, where we have the climate to be able to grow our own food, share with others, give back when we can, to be able to truly care for others and be cared for, and to celebrate that love every day.
So, this Thanksgiving, I hope you take a moment by yourself to sit and enjoy the warmth of the fire or glance out the window and appreciate the beauty of a falling leaf as it floats to the ground and be glad for both – and for the time to slow down and savor not only the tastes of the day, but the sights and sounds as well.
From all of us at The Artist’s Inn, may yours truly be a happy and grateful Thanksgiving.