Thanksgiving doesn’t get the recognition it should.
Songs and greeting cards posit the unanswerable question: “Why can’t every day be like Christmas?”
The sentiment here is that folks observing the season of holidays act differently when they’re fulfilling Christmas wishes, following Hanukkah customs, or celebrating Ramadan.
“We’re more like the people we want to be.” is one way it’s put.
I say “Why can’t every day be like Thanksgiving?”
Why must we wait for once-a-year tidings to assess our tiny worlds and appreciate what we have?
Nearly every day is Thanksgiving for me. More, even, than Christmas.
While Christmas and other observances of the season are religious, there’s another side to the holidays. A side for those less zealous, or those whose beliefs do not follow those prescribed paths. It is a holiday of sharing joy, gifting others as a gesture of love or esteem.
“We’re all a little kinder, a little more patient.” come the descriptions. “We smile a little easier, we hold the door for someone, we say thank you more.”
For Thanksgiving, we gather together. We give ourselves and appreciate one another.
We may bring a pie, a jug of cider, or perhaps nothing more than greetings and smiles.
No cards needed. No gifts necessary. No tree in the house or symbolic candelabra.
At a traditional Thanksgiving, all gathered will sit still together. One, many, or all will recount that for which they are thankful. Sure, some kids will say “I’m thankful I made the football team.” or “I’m thankful I got an iPod.”
Most adults will (finally, after a long year) inventory those most precious things in our lives, and list them accordingly.
Our health. You, me, him & her. The number gathered this year. A table of food, if one is fortunate.
Some may even take the moment to notice that there are so many people in this world less fortunate. (Frankly, that’s putting it mildly & politely)
If you like movies of the season and a good laugh along with a heartfelt message, watch Bill Murray in Scrooged.
It’s a modern romp through Dickens’ famous tale of visitation by spirits upon a miserly curmudgeon without compassion.
In it, after Murray’s revelation, he tries to relate the elation of the season, and the compassion.
After observing how we act more like the people we want to be, he describes it as a miracle, and follows with a plea for action.
“Some people may be having trouble making their miracle happen.” We are admonished to reach out and help someone, feed someone, touch someone in a meaningful way.
All of these things are the things I chase every day, throughout my year. They are not relegated to holidays.
No, I’m not a saint. There are days when I forget to look for someone to help make their miracle happen. There are times when I forget what a beautiful world is spinning about me in an infinite beautiful universe. There are days when I inadvertently elevate myself and my tiny troubles to the status of important.
Thankfully, these days are fewer and fewer with each passing year.
A note to Elvis Presley, Gene Autry, Bobby Helms, and so many others with the question on their lips:
Yes, every day can be like Christmas.
Better yet, every day can be like Thanksgiving.
Be at peace,