This whole holiday involves a lot of purchasing and a lot of work. And then it involves a lot of eating. And then more eating. And then more work. And then tomorrow you will eat and purchase, unless you have to be at work.
This is America.
But I continue to meet people who declare that Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday, causing me to question, “But, you do know, that on Christmas we eat a lot and get presents, right?”
Thanksgiving is something different.
Even with the excessive everything we impose on it, Thanksgiving is its own Culture Warrior: All the purchasing and cooking and preparing culminate in nothing but a gathering.
We work and prepare and plan in order to sit down with each other and be present.
And in my little world the food is plentiful.( Far too plentiful. )
But that presence, that gathering, let’s face it, that sitting?
It’s scarce. And I think we’re hungrier for it than we are for the Deep-fried turkey.
And it’s sacred. Jesus met people and immediately made dinner plans. And we experience the ultimate Mystery of our faith with a group, around a table.
We will puchase, and work, and eat, and clean. And we will be tired and even cranky at some point. But this Thanksgiving, I am grateful for Thanksgiving. In a world wildly broken, along comes a holiday based on gathering, and looking at each other, and being present, even if its for 12 minutes. (Or if you are Italian – 3.5 hours, the Puerto Ricans can’t sit still that long.)
And instead of even giving, or producing, we.just.are. When we gather, we’re together – connected, sharing, mindful, grateful. And the tenacity of Thanksgiving…the sheer determination to not make it more than it is (regardless of the Outlets opening up tonight) , comforts me. It’s apparent that somewhere beneath our insatiability and angst we do really know what we need, and what we don’t.
Because, every year, at least once, we still do nothing but gather. Come what may. Come what came.
Thanksgiving makes me thankful. And gathering for Thanksgiving? It makes me hopeful.
“And all shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” (Lady Julian of Norwich)
“…If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person and he with me.” (Jesus)
All shall be well.
my house marthastewart.com
Leave your screens behind, just for the gathering, will you? Be fully present. Unless you have an Ipad with The Monkey Game, in that case give it to a nearby 3 year old in a pink dress so her mother can be fully present.
We’re headed over the bridge and through the tunnel for the holiday. Have a wonderful weekend.