As a kid Thanksgiving was always one of those “meh” holidays to me. Sure it was fun to get together with family, but as a young girl it didn’t seem like there was much in it for me. On Valentines day we always received some sort of gift, or a nice chunk of chocolate. St. Patrick’s day was a good excuse to pinch. April Fools day, well it needs no explaining to anyone who has ever been a child. There was endless candy at Easter, with at least one toy in the basket. By the time the 4th of July rolled around it didn’t even matter that there were no gifts, it was summer, we were out of school, and we spent all our time out of doors swimming without a care in the world. On Halloween I actually looked forward to candy hangovers. Christmas, well, yeah, it’s Christmas. Poor little Thanksgiving though, nestled right in between two major holidays. The adults always made such a big to-do about the occasion, and while I knew there was significance in it, I didn’t care–it could have been any other day to me. As far as holidays are concerned Thanksgiving fell pretty close to the bottom, just a small step up from ever boring labor day or memorial day.
Somewhere in my early 20s things turned around. Maybe it was a gradual thing that happened after I no longer lived at home and the idea of spending time with my family no longer made me want to puncture my eyeballs, or perhaps it was more about my growing love for food and cooking. Either way, Thanksgiving has redeemed itself to me and is now only a shallow step behind Christmas on my holiday list hierarchy.
I don’t think I need to go through the list of things I feel thankful for, as I am sure the list is quite similar to the majority; family, food, clothes, a roof, good health, and so on. I do however want to say that this year I am especially grateful for community. It means different things to different people, and in my opinion it isn’t exclusive to those who are outside your doors. To me community is those you surround yourself with on a regular basis, whether it be in your neighborhood, around your city, or even online, it is a wonderful thing to have–and I am so thankful for the community that I have come to be a part of over the past three and a half years as a parent. They have changed my life for the better and made me feel less insane as a parent than I know I am.
And so here we are, at December. The most wonderful time of the year. The year of my birth. Christmas. The end of a year. It is such a magical, reflective time–and one that quite often can bring up a lot of sadness when one looks back upon the hard times, whether over the past year or with family and friends. My wish to you all, and to myself, for this coming month and holiday is that we can all let it go, as much as possible anyway. Enjoy the here and now, enjoy the family that is present, enjoy the friends, and most importantly, enjoy the food.