It used to seem like a chore. Before getting to indulge in turkey or cranberries, many of us had to go around the table to give thanks. Ugh—just get to the food already! But wait. There’s a reason why giving thanks is important. It reminds us why holidays are not intended to be chores, but blessings. We live in an extraordinarily fast-paced world. So much so that the thought of spending a Thursday afternoon (!) with friends or family seems so totally out there that it only happens one day a year.
How can we show our thanks and be home by 8? How about making a conscious effort to not just say what we are thankful for, but actually feel gratitude throughout the season, and the year. Maybe instead of hurrying through all of the guest’s lists of reasons why they are thankful before the meal starts, we start eating and use our thanks as a conversation starter. Perhaps we don’t let that feeling of gratitude go when the meal is over (or the appetizer), but let it carry into the night, prompting us to give a ride to an imbibed relative, send leftovers home with a down-on-luck friend, clean up after a meal that we didn’t make.
All in all, it is about something more than food. It’s about recognition of goodness. The goodness in people, the goodness in friends, and yes—the goodness in a perfectly baked pumpkin pie.