Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is considered by most to be the start of the holiday season. Every year when the holidays roll around, I start to miss my family. My mother and grandmother, who are both gone now, were like the Super Glue that bonded my family into a unit. Every year they'd prepare a huge turkey feast with all the trimmings, and four generations would gather together and give thanks for all that we had. I don't remember any of my siblings, my nephews, or my neice ever complaining about having to spend the entire day with family. It was just something we all did.

Now I have a family of my own -- a wife and two kids -- and my family -- the one I grew up with -- lives nearly four hours away. My wife's family lives fifteen minutes away, and we spend every holiday with them. I don't get from them the same sense of unity -- of togetherness -- that I felt with my family growing up. There's just something missing there -- I can't really describe it. To me, it just doesn't feel like Thanksgiving should feel.

Tomorrow, as Amercians around the world celebrate Thanksgiving in their own way (and did you ever notice that even atheists and agnostics find some reason to get together for turkey and trimmings on Thanksgiving day every year -- I'll never understand that one), my family and I will be with my wife's family, while my brother and sisters, nephews and neice, and grandfather gather together some four hours away. I guess it's a time to make new traditions.

There are many things that I am thankful for, and since that's what this day (tomorrow) is all about, here are a few of them:
My wife, whom -- though we seem to disagree quite often -- I love with all of my heart.
My children, both of whom are healthy and happy.
My country, which -- without question -- is the greatest land on God's green Earth.
My career -- which provides me the means to provide for my family.
Memories, and the people who have helped me to make them.
The future -- as uncertain as it might be.
Here's hoping that you and yours have a safe, loving, memory-making Happy Thanksgiving!



cat said...

Why would it surprise you that many atheists happily celebrate Thanksgiving? It's one of the few great american holidays that is neither christian nor pagan and co-opted by the christians. Think easter (eggs and bunnies obviously the fertility fest of Ostara) and xmas (mistletoe and the yule log long pre-date christianity as winter solstice symbols). Being thankful doesn't require supreme being mythology. Thankfully ;). Happy thanksgiving to you from one of the numerous thankful atheists.

Average Joe American said...

What was the origin of Thanksgiving? Try this: religious pilgrims expressing thankfulness to God their Creator for the bountiful harvest.

How you think that's not religious, I don't know. Without someone to be thankful to, what is Thanksgiving?


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