Why I don't give a $h!t about Thanksgving

In the last decade or so, Thanksgiving has gone from celebrating the first meal shared between the Native  Americans and the pilgrims and  it has become more about gratitude, and celebrating what we are thankful for.   It has gone from Thanksgiving to Thanks+Giving, the act of giving thanks.  
We see it all over social media with hashtags like #thankful, #grateful, #30daysofthanks, and so on.  People are taking time to count their blessings and share their gratitude with others.  I love this.

Traditionally, Thanksgiving, the celebration of that "big day," is centered around a humongous meal that typically involves more food than any one family can eat.  This is what we remember.  This is what our memories are made of.  We reminisce about family crammed into a house too small to contain all of the visitors, some people sitting at card tables, some on the sofa watching football...traditionally women in the kitchen, football or parades on the television.   I can smell the memories as I type this.

About twenty years ago, my parents decided to move to Arizona.  If I can be honest, there was no real reason.  They liked it, so they went.  This was a Thanksgiving game changer.  While I still had plenty of family in Michigan and was married at the time so I shared his family too,  my parents were no longer the center of my Thanksgiving.  Thud.

I adjusted.  I became a mother.  *I* became the center of Thanksgiving.  I blinked and all of a sudden I was the mom in the kitchen, I was the hostess, I was inviting family and friends to my house for all of the craziness that goes with a day of such magnitude.  So much planning and preparation goes into this ONE DAY and getting this one meal  just right.  Another game changer.

And then we moved to Tennessee.  Just us.  Our nuclear family.  Game changer.  Now if we want to see family on Thanksgiving, there are expensive airfares involved and family everywhere so where do we decide to go?  No where.  We stay here.  We create our own Thanksgiving memories.  We turn it into the day we put the tree up while mom cooks in the kitchen.  We scream about the Detroit Lions
(that will never change, always the Lions on Thanksgiving day).  It's a game changer.  It's different.  But it's ok because we have each other.

And then we got a divorce.

And then we had to fill out that paper where you determine the fate of your and your children's future holidays.

Game changer.  

Let me tell you how easy it would be to be sad about being alone on Thanksgiving.

But I don't celebrate Thanksgiving anymore.

I celebrate Thanks+Giving.







Tomorrow, on November 24, 2016 I will be grateful for so much.  The air that I breathe, another day to screw it up or get it right, my boys celebrating the Lions with their father and grandparents, the soundtrack to Hamilton in my ears, crafts to do, pajamas to wear, chicken piccata for one, pumpkin pie for dessert AND breakfast, my newfound love for chai latte, Netflixthis weather, the beautiful Christmas tree that I put up with the boys yesterday, wine, books, no makeup, family near and far to connect with via this tiny computer in my hand, and so....very....much.... more.

Know what I'm grateful for today?  All of that AND the fact that I'm not frantically cleaning my house and spending 6 hours in the kitchen.  Just sayin'

Guess what I'm doing on Friday?  I'm going to wake up grateful for a billion things and I'm going to make a full blown Thanksgiving feast for me and the boys.  (Which, by the way, is something I do several times a year)

It's just a day.

Thanksgiving is JUST a day.

Thanks+Giving is every single day.  

We live in strange, difficult times, and LIFE IS HARD.  We must stop waiting until a Thursday in November or November period to start being grateful and giving thanks for all that we have. Because look around, we have so much.  

Thanks+Giving is every moment we have with our children, driving them to and from all of the places but recognizing that it's in those precious moments that we are getting to know the humans we created. Thanks+Giving is being able to reach out to a friend in the middle of the night and send them your crazy rantings via the tiny computer in your hand and getting the response, "Yes you're crazy, but you're also okay."  Thanks+Giving is second chances.  Thanks+Giving is being scared and doing it anyway.  Thanks+Giving is Leslie Odom Jr. singing , "My favorite things." Thanks+Giving is succeeding and failing and sometimes all at once.  Thanks+Giving is forgiveness and grace. Thanks+Giving is a great book to read.  Thanks+Giving is heat and electricity, water, and wifi.   Thanks+Giving is surrender.  Thanks+Giving is finding joy in the big and in the small moments.  Thanks+Giving is creating and finding adventure in every moment of the day. Thanks+Giving is the gift of another day. Thanks+Giving is this day.  Period.  

I don't give $h!t about Thanksgiving because every day of my life is Thanks+Giving.  

"Thanksgiving" is just a date on a calendar.  Thanks+Giving is a ......

game changer.  


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