I say this all the time: Thanksgiving is pretty much the only holiday I respect and honor. Many will debate me about that as they see their holidays. But that’s very subjective. To them, theirs, to me, mine.
Holidays are about reflection, about honoring something or somebody, and about tradition. We all have our own traditions. We inherit many of them from our parents and general lineage.
I am grateful for the fact that I didn’t inherit any Thanksgiving tradition from my lineage, as I grew up in a different country where we didn’t have the kind of Thanksgiving we have here in the United States. Erntedankfest in Germany is the equivalent, and sometimes people equate the two, but they are not the same in the heart. And I certainly have no idea what day Erntedankfest falls on.
For Thanksgiving, having no inherited traditions, I have had to make my own. In the first few years of my adulthood, I was able to participate in the Thanksgiving festivities of others where I was invited. I certainly remember my first one, as an AFS exchange student in high school.
As it turned out, making the turkey became my job. There must be homemade cranberry sauce. Then later the Waldorf salad became an added tradition.
Inviting friends became the norm. I always preferred staying at home for Thanksgiving and “hosting” rather than going to someone else’s house, but there were exceptions over the years. Thanksgiving to me is about reflection and hanging out, not travel, not stress, not getting everything right.
I have no deity to thank. Just the people that have been good to me all my life, children, family, lovers, and friends. And those, whether they are here right now or not, as I get ready to make the stuffing, are the ones I think about and am grateful for.
It’s been a good ride.