Thanksgiving… A beautiful day.
Everyone gets together, chills out, eats some great food, has some interesting family conversations, slips into a food coma and goes home relatively content. Yes, it was imagined originally as some hallmark holiday in some catalog somewhere. I doubt it really had much to do with the pioneers, but perhaps it did. Who am I to say? All I know is that there is something that is a bit sketchy. Again, most people will come together and give thanks and say a prayer for the bounty at is in front of them… This is a great part of thanksgiving.
Sadly most of the plus side tends to end there. Now food cooked with love is worth its weight in gold. It can nourish the spirit and recreate what we are missing amongst our modern eat-out culture. But what else is happening? Well first off, celebrating a day where we have tons of food brought to the table that we didn’t hunt and gather ourselves is a little disconnecting? But overlooking that whole discussion, the practice of overeating and going into a food coma when we only have a few days a year with some of our most valued family members can be counterproductive. These are people you could be having meaningful discussions with, but instead, you will repress your emotions with food and just veg out into a football game or some other diversion. This is the issue. Everyone is emotionally mailing it in when they could be working together to build a stronger family unit.
Yes, I get it, there are people within your family that you probably never would ever get along with and are just trying to avoid. But still, shouldn’t we try to at least celebrate what commonalities we can agree upon and talk about our meaningful emotional and spiritual development in some profound way? Instead, we are stuck catalyzing our emotions, making small talk about nonsense or just disconnecting by way of the TV.
Again, do I have all the answers? Not really, but I think a good start would be to just eat a reasonably sized meal and try to have some meaningful dialogue to try and bridge the gaps with people you don’t get to see that often. I also know that true culture revolves around creativity, so the more that you can interject that into your family, the better off they will be. That’s all I’m saying. Along with the fact that the emotional repression within family units needs to stop. Perhaps some joint creative activity or game of Pictionary after the meal could be a fun way to ease tensions.
But whatever you do this year, just try not to shut down and disengage. You owe it to your family to try and reconnect everyone and stop looking at your phone the whole day. People who need your love are in front of you and they deserve the best you can give them.
If nothing try to lead by example and have a happy thanksgiving!