Last year a few weeks before Thanksgiving, I was drooling over this fantastic wood-carved bar at a furniture store in Atlanta when I started kicking it with a fellow customer with similar decorating tastes. What was a cursory, “Hey, how are you?” turned into a 45-minute conversation about everything from motherhood and family to art and scripture, and before I knew it, I was inviting her and her family, who were new to the area, to Thanksgiving dinner.
I know, I know I’m a crackhead.
But they were super sweet, and proved as much at dinner. Well, except for the part when my brother-in-law James, a lawyer by day and rabble rouser by night, got into, shall we say, an “interesting” conversation about religion with the couple. Both of whom happened to be ministers. No need for particulars. Let’s just say it made for fun times.
And that’s what Thanksgiving is all about, isn’t it? Family. Friends. An exchange of love and memory. A lot of it good. Some of it questionable. All of it worth sharing.
The origins of Thanksgiving make the holiday a little (okay, a lot) questionable for me, particularly since we know what happened after that “friendly” sit-down dinner between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans. But the sentiment of Thanksgiving all these years later still holds weight with me, as I look at it as a time to really enjoy people I love and especially to be grateful for… well, everything. We’re living in a time where the economy has plenty of folks reeling over finances, lack of jobs, losses and the like. But this is the day when I choose to look at the glass as half full rather than half empty to simply say, “Thank You” to the universe for all the sweet things that DID happen to us and for us this year.
I didn’t invite any strangers to our Thanksgiving table this year, but I do have a lot of new friends and old ones, too 40 in all who’ll be grabbing a plate from our buffet. Everyone is bringing something interesting and delicious to the table just like family and friends tend to do in everyday life.
And with that sentiment in mind, I wish you a happy Thanksgiving, and that tomorrow and every day after that, you push the bitter aside and really appreciate the sweet.
Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!