I love this time of year, and not just because the sense of the world dying somehow makes me feel calm and enlightened. This is the time of year I get to see what everyone is thankful for. Most of the time, my facebook feed is full of people complaining. They complain about everything. The weather, the heat, celebrities, each other…everything. You name it, I’ve seen a complaint about it. Come November 1st though, everyone seems to be so goddamn thankful for everything. Shamefully, I am guilty of the trend too. One year I started on November first and everyday posted on social media one thing I was thankful for. I didn’t make it too long before I realized I’m always thankful for this shit I was listing. Why was I making it known? Was it to be seen like a better person than I was? Anyone that really knows me, knows that I can be a dick, maybe they’re thankful for it. I’m struggling with this, we have a month or a date or a holiday for everything. We take that instance to celebrate and remember that particular thing.
November brings us Thanksgiving. There are many reasons good and bad to celebrate Thanksgiving. The cynical side of me knows that the story I was force fed in grade school was probably the least probable thing to happen. What do I think Thanksgiving is? Doing very little research, I’ve found that it was customary to have a huge meal at the end of a harvest season. We, as early americans, sat down to a bountiful feast in order to pat each other on the back and say “Holy shit that’s a lot of food!”
“Look how good we are at growing crops!”
“We did this!”
“Thank god my 13 children died after we harvested all these crops!”
“I probably won’t make it through winter.”
Whether there was a single feast or multiple ones or who was involved, no matter any of the details, it was a celebration of living in hard times. Times where people were thankful that they had enough food to last the winter, and enough love to bring them through the toughest of hardships. That first Thanksgiving was a time to say to each other, “I got your back, thank you for having mine.” People coming together to share a meal had a lot of meaning behind it and it still does.
When I was a kid we went to my grandmother’s house. There, under a dome of cigarette smoke, we would indulge in all the prepared food and noise. Those were the days I never gave much thought to why we were celebrating or even what I was thankful for. Thinking back now, I’m thankful i don’t have breathing problems after all those meals. It wasn’t until we started having smaller thanksgivings at our own house that we gave thought into what we were thankful for. I remember my mom having us one by one say what we were thankful for. I don’t remember what I was thankful for, being twelve, it probably wasn’t real deep. I imagine I said I was thankful for my family.
Maybe that’s what Thanksgiving is about. We live in a world now days where we don’t have to worry about having enough food to last the winter. I don’t need to grow and harvest my own crops, nor do I have to butcher and defeather my own turkey. I think Thanksgiving has shifted from being thankful for basic survival, to being thankful for everything we might take for granted the rest of the year. It’s a hope for people like me that everyone will take a second and say “Maybe I don’t need all this shit I’ve accumulated. Maybe I just need the people that love me and they just need me, and as long as we have each other, we can get through this sometimes confusing and difficult life.” And if enough people sit down for a meal together and realize this, it gives me at least a little hope for the future of humanity.
So what are you thankful for this week? Some time off? Seeing good people you haven’t put your arms around in a while? Personally, I’m thankful I have a home filled with love. Yes, the roof might leak on me while I sleep and yes, the place is only a summer from being bulldozed to the ground (Thanks Essex Development board). But that’s the house. The people inside: My wife, the kids we’ve raised, and the relationships I’ve built with people that make me happy. That’s what I’m thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving
Not really, its in the same post. This is not exactly timely, but its not…not timely….because you know…tis the season. Check out more Buckles The Snowman at Facebook.com/readwithsnowmen
-also, for some reason I cant get this any bigger, so this bonus post is essentially useless. Please visit the Facebook page to view. Yes, i realize this may be weird and unorthodox but its the day before thanksgiving, there’s a small child running around me pantless and another one destroying something. You’re lucky I don’t charge you for viewing this.