Thanksgiving is once again upon us. If you live in the USA you celebrate on the 4th Thursday unlike our more sensible neighbors to the North. In the US, the holiday is meant to commemorate an event that took place when English colonists held a feast to thank Native Americans for helping them start new lives in the US, before we took everything worth taking from them.
In no particular order, here are some things everyone should do once in their lives on Thanksgiving. Not necessarily the same thanksgiving, although it is possible to do all of these on the same one.
Host or attend Friendsgiving: When Thanksgiving was discovered? Invented? I’m not up on my history, most people lived near or with their immediate family so getting together for the holidays was a no-brainer. These days, it’s not always easy to fly back to NoWhere, Iowa or Hellville, Alabama, especially if you have to do it again in 3-4 weeks for Christmas. [Some day I”ll write the post about moving Thanksgiving to the first week of November, and he let’s make it the start of Election Weekend.]
Some people also can’t or won’t spend time with their family. They are estranged, black sheep of the family or it’s just to uncomfortable.
Participate in a Turkey Trot: Every city, town and subdivision has a Turkey Trot (5K/8K/10K) either the weekend before or the day of Thanksgiving. If you are able, you should actually run this usually noncompetitive race. If running really isn’t your thing, they can always use volunteers.
Eat a Non-Traditional Meal: Back in college, I had a Chinese friend who always joked about being at the Red Lobster with the other FOBs for Thanksgiving. She was not PC and extolled a healthy amount of self-deprecation. Skip the turkey and have something non-traditional like Lasagna, Prime Rib or Chinese food.
Give Money and time, but especially Money to Charity: volunteer at a soup kitchen or community shelter. They can use your non perishable food donation but they really need money, because strangely, dollars never go bad.
Reflection and Renewal: Everyone usually waits until the end of the year to look back on what transpired and look ahead at the year to come (New Year’s Resolutions anyone). I say why wait. Everything starts slowing if not outright shutting down this time of year. Most likely your football team is out of the playoffs. This is a great time to reflect on what was and what can still be.
Thanksgiving 1996 was when I unceremoniously mailed my grad school application to DePaul University. A few weeks later
my check cleared I was conditionally accepted and the rest is history.
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