Happy Thanksgiving 2017!
Oh right, Thanksgiving was five days ago already. In internet speed that was light years ago. I’m totally behind the times.
What can I say? Everyone I know is putting up Christmas and Hanukah decorations and lighting Hanukah candles this week but here I am saying Happy Thanksgiving. Full disclosure: we still have Halloween pumpkins rotting on our porch.
But it’s never too late to be grateful and give thanks, right?!
Psychologists say practicing an attitude of gratitude will make you feel happier.
(As will being generous, helping others, and getting enough exercise.)
Honestly, it’s hard for me to have a happy Thanksgiving. This is a hard time of year for me. My mom died on November 22 six years ago, right around Thanksgiving. But I still love this holiday because it’s a time for togetherness and for our imperfect and very American version of hygge. From a political and intellectual point of view, though, I feel deeply ambivalent about Thanksgiving. I was talking last week to a medical doctor who spent years working on an Indian reservation. She feels like the way our country has treated and continues to treat the native people who lived here long before Europeans arrived is nothing short of genocide. Less than 2 percent of the population of the United States is Native American.
My family emigrated from Eastern Europe to escape persecution of Jewish people. I’m thankful to be an American. I love America. But I do not love the way native people continue to be exploited, ignored, and beaten down.
This year our Thanksgiving featured a huge amount of gratitude and communal cooking, a small batch of homemade hand-whipped raw eggnog (courtesy of James), a family sing-a-long, and, yes, the hokey pokey. We old folks danced, the teens and young’uns watched and laughed at us. Same when we decided to get our opaganda style groove on. They find us hopelessly out of date.
The next day we had brunch at the Station House followed by a to-the-death game of basketball featuring players as young as six and as old as 76 (we didn’t actually keep score).
We also played charades, Hearts, and poker, went on some beautiful hikes and walks in and around Inverness, and the younger set explored and finally found their way out of an imaginary dungeon to end a years-long game of D&D.
My favorite part of Thanksgiving is going around the table and giving thanks. I’m thankful for so many things and so many people. It’s nice to get a chance to say some of them out loud.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading.