holidays · Uncategorized

What I Love About Thanksgiving

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Maybe I should have named this post “what I hate about the new WordPress dashboard and editor!” Today everything is different and the place I’ve been clicking to avoid the new editor is gone. :/

Well, anyway, tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the U.S. and Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. Here are some of the reasons I love it.

  1. It’s a North American, New World tradition. We don’t have many of those. Mostly, we ditched the traditions our ancestors came here with and didn’t replace them with traditions that have anything to do with the changing seasons. Most of our “holidays” are just days off work or we have replaced the traditions associated with the holiday with buying cards, candy or gifts.
  2. Thanksgiving is actually connected to the seasons. It comes at the end of the harvest season. It actually makes sense! I think we should have more holidays that mark the changing of the seasons. It’s been an important part of life in cultures all over the world until the past few centuries when we became so cutoff from the cycles of nature.
  3. There aren’t any religious connotations to feel conflicted about. I think it’s odd that so many people celebrate Christian holidays when they aren’t Christian. It’s not a bad thing but…I don’t know. It leaves me feeling conflicted. My husband grew up thinking Christmas was about Santa Claus and Easter was about the Easter Bunny. His family never went to church. So, why did they celebrate Christian holidays? Why do I now? There is none of this wondering why with Thanksgiving. Being thankful is more universal. Now, if you start thinking about how it started and what happened after, you might feel conflicted about it. I am able to keep myself at thankful. Thankfully.
  4. Four day weekend! Four days to sleep in and relax. It’s great in theory and for non-cooking men and children. Too bad someone has to do the cooking….
  5. There is time for introspection. To me, winter is the time to go inward, to be quiet and peaceful and reflect on life, the year, everything. Christmas, with all the crowds and shopping and long must-do lists that go along with it, irritates me. It goes against what I feel the season should be about. Thanksgiving is, thankfully, more peaceful. I appreciate this calm before the chaotic storm.
  6. The feast! On our menu this year is roasted turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cinnamon-vanilla sweet potatoes, cranberry-pear sauce, raspberry salad, rolls, and a pumpkin pie and a berry pie, with real whipping cream, of course! All delicious things! (We’re skipping the green vegetables. No one will miss them.) This year, I’m looking forward to this feast more than ever. Since finding out I’m allergic to all the things I normally ate, I’ve been hungry. All the time. All day. Every day. I wake up hungry every morning and the feeling never really goes away. This year, I welcome the over-stuffed feeling of after Thanksgiving dinner! I’m going to top it off with pie.
  7. Spending time with family. We’re all home together often but everyone is always in separate rooms, attached to their devices. It takes a holiday and company – tomorrow, my mom and stepdad – to get everyone together and present for any length of time. I wish we could see everyone in the family but I will enjoy the time I have with those who are here.

Aside from the rolls and the berry pie, I am making all the foods in the list above. So, I’d better get on it! Yesterday, I didn’t get the vegan pumpkin pie or the pumpkin bread made so I have a lot to do today. Wish me luck. My track record in cooking hasn’t been so good lately. A couple of weeks ago, I made pumpkin bread and forgot to add the pumpkin. It could be an interesting dinner….

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20 thoughts on “What I Love About Thanksgiving

  1. I wasn’t brought up in a church-going family, but still knew the reasons for Christmas and Easter from religious instruction in school (Victoria, Australia). And all the Christmas Carols tell the story. My understanding is that Christmas and Easter started when these celebrations were introduced by Rome – coinciding with existing ‘pagan’ festivals so that the people could easily be swayed to the new religion. I think these celebrations are embedded in our psyche, since they were originally tied in with thanksgiving or pleas to various deities for good harvests, or to mark a new year. As religious freedom grew, and people had the choice not to attend church, well-established family traditions continued.

    Good luck with all that cooking. Happy Thanksgiving.

    1. Hm, yes, I think you’re right that the celebrations are embedded in our psyche. I feel called to celebrate them, I just am not satisfied with how we celebrate most of them these days. This year I realized that I love Halloween, not because of the trick-or-treating the kids do on Halloween but because families go out to farms in the country to pick out pumpkins. It was just my husband and I this year and we were probably the only people without children in tow but I still loved it. I wish we had more outside traditions like this. Maybe it’s the ancient vein of pagan in me that is conflicted and unsatisfied! I miss being connected to nature and the seasonal cycles.

      Thank you for the wish of a Happy Thanksgiving and the luck in cooking. So far, it’s gone well today!

  2. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving feast with family, Trisha. Even if your baking may not turn out perfectly, you’re on a learning curve with your allergies and it was done with love.

    1. Thank you! Things have gone well so far today. The cinnamon-vanilla sweet potatoes and the cranberry-pear sauce turned out good (so good that I had to have a little bowl of each!) and the boys said the pumpkin bread is good. (I can’t sample it because of the eggs). No one else is even going to try my vegan pumpkin pie so, if it doesn’t turn out, the only one who will be disappointed is me!

  3. Good luck with the cooking and here’s hoping you have a wonderful Thanksgiving day.

    I feel the same way as you about Christmas & Easter, especially as there are no young children to enjoy it with. I ‘don’t do Christmas’ anymore as I don’t have the energy and can’t stand the smell of the perfumes etc from the extended family. I get too exhausted socialising, so this year, for probably the 2nd or 3rd time in my life, I may well stay home enjoying my own company and a good movie.

    By the way, I consider it a crime not to have green vegetables 😀 That’s mainly what I live on. From my brief knowledge, it appears many Americans eat mainly brown and white food. Is that right? And it seems you have massive serving sizes. Australians will soon outrank the Americans in terms of Obesity per capita. I put most of that down to electronic devices and social media online and a more sedentary lifestyle for the most part. Having said that, many Australians still love the outdoor life, especially in the summer.

    I’m definitely spending less and less time online these days. Living in a light filled apartment has given me a new appreciation of the outdoors (besides my chronic ill health and pain). I spend much time watching the birds and clouds in the sky, as you well know Trisha.

    1. I have the same problem with perfumes and scented candles and stuff like that with extended family. We spend Christmas Day with Don’s family and I almost always end the day with a massive migraine. A couple of years ago, I got really sick and had really bad and scary heart palpitations from the scented candle in the bathroom. Telling people that I get headaches from scented stuff doesn’t seem to do any good.

      I’ve made kale salads and sautéed Brussels sprouts and other things for holiday dinners and no one touches them but me. I’ll make myself a kale salad once there’s room in the fridge again. It’s just not worth the extra work when I’m the only one who will eat it. And when it’s cold out, I don’t really crave green veggies much, although I am thinking about that kale salad now. It was good!

      You’re right that most Americans eat white food. White flour products, white rice, etc. And the restaurant portions are massive. If we eat out, I can take the leftovers from my dinner and get two to three more meals out of it. Personally, I think the biggest contributor to obesity here may be that there is wheat and corn in everything, which is crazy when you think about it since corn is used to fatten livestock!

      1. Let’s just say you’re welcome in my home any day. While not as strict as you (re allergies), I think my lifestyle and food might suit you 99.9%.
        PS I’ve never tried to make a salad out of Kale. Kale’s only really become popular in recent years here. We’d never heard of it even 20 years ago.

  4. Thanksgiving does sound a lovely holiday and I hope that you and your family all enjoy it. It sounds as if you will have quite a feast although I would miss the green veg myself. I don’t go to church but I do like to celebrate Christmas because I like tradition.

    1. I like the tradition of Christmas, I just wish we had more meaningful ways to celebrate it. I’m sure some families do, but mine doesn’t and I don’t really see other families around here doing things that don’t involve shopping. It just feels like it’s all about the buying and getting anymore. There are things I do like about Christmas – the lights and the decorations and I loved when my kids would decorate cookies with me. Maybe I can create some fun, more meaningful family traditions when I have grandkids.

  5. I think Christmas and (to a slightly lesser extent) Easter have actually been hijacked by secular America as traditional holidays. It’s just something you celebrate in America unless your religious beliefs dictate otherwise. I was the same as your husband… we never went to church, but we celebrated both holidays at home and in public school. As long as the retail shopping season is centered around Christmas, it will always be this country’s biggest holiday no matter the religious conflicts…

    Do you not have the link for posting through the WP Admin? Tack “/wp-admin/post-new.php” onto the end of your url and you should find the old, classic editor. I’ve had it bookmarked since the first stupid tweaks WP did at the beginning of the year…

    1. I know. It would take an apocalyptic event for people to give up their month long orgy of shopping. And it would take a lobotomy or personality transplant for me to not rant “why the hell am I doing this for a Christian holiday when I’m not even Christian?” I hate shopping, traffic, crowds and pressure to do things I hate! I grew up going to church but it didn’t take with me. I’m too much of a questioner.

      Thank you for the tip for finding the old editor!

      1. I think its funny because my Mom was raised Catholic and my Dad raised Baptist, both had deeply religious parents, and yet we wound up pagan! Hey, I’ll meet you downstairs with Buster! 😉

  6. I’m with you on number 2 – we should have more holidays that mark the changing of the seasons. 🙂 Hope your Thanksgiving was filled with all that you love about it! ❤

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