It’s no secret that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. A whole holiday with a focus on gratitude - what’s not to love.
Though, there are increasingly more things not to love: over $13 million spent on a retail conglomerate’s parade, Black Friday appearing as an official holiday, the continued ignorant misrepresentation of pilgrims, “indians”, and the first thanksgiving… the list goes on.
So this year, I wanted to be even more intentional in our celebrations. Due to sickness in the family, it was just going to be the four of us this year. So I was glad when the homeless man I often chat with who panhandles outside my work accepted my invitation to join us. Due to unforeseen circumstances, he was unable to come, but much of our feast preparation and conversations centered around this invitation. And it led to some great discussions with my first-grader.
Additionally, this holiday, as with any day on the calendar, I wish to amplify native voices. Many native groups observe Thanksgiving as a National Day of Mourning. To them, this day is a reminder of the millions killed by the hands of the white settlers, the theft of their lands, and the continued assault on their culture. Even now President Trump’s administration is attempting to take back reservation land. It is beyond ironic that as we feast, many native people are going hungry. To do my part of reparations, I am donating to the Native Food Alliance. And I’m encouraging everyone to follow native voices on social media. I’ve learned much from: @lilnativeboy @caliwolf @indigenouswomenshike , and just today I found the work of @ndn.o
Once you know better, you should do better. And I hope that thanksgiving celebrations lean back in that direction - with gratitude and graciousness, for the land we live on, the people who came before us, the hard truths around us, and our shared connections.
Happy Thanksgiving, all. May your year be full of abundance that you share with those in need.
One reason I appreciate this holiday is that it lets me take advantage of all of the very specific dinnerware I’ve amassed over the years.
This year we did a paper table cloth that the kids could color in - though everyone joined in because it was such a big hit!
The main course this year was mushroom turnovers, as we don't participate in the slaughter of nearly 45 million turkeys for this day. But we did have a veggie plate turkey!
And we served gravy in my late grandmother's gravy boat, that was a part of her wedding china. I always like to have a bit of her spirit when I do my holiday cooking.
Eating and giving thanks
Each year, each guest makes a list of things to be thankful for. This was the first year everyone in my family could write at least their own name. And hilarious lists from the kiddos, of course.