A Month of Thanks

November is one of my favorite months, and that is because of Thanksgiving. I realize this is a holiday for the USA and our northern neighbors, the Canucks, and not all of us share the same sense of excitement as I do. I get it. We all have different perspectives and experiences, which is what makes us such a diverse community. I am thankful for the diversity in our group and always welcome newcomers.

Allow me to share my perspective with you. I grew up in a very loving home but our family experienced a lot of tragedy. Although, my parents did their best to smile and let us be kids, it was Thanksgiving that I truly felt the happiness shared. It was a day that people would gather, despite the busy schedules, and reconnect over food. It was a day that people took the time to check in with others, and a day that was not full of appointments, working and shopping. It was a good day. People laughed, loved, played games with kids while the others cooked. It was a happy day.

As I got older, my dad and I would help my Godfather (who owned the only diner in town) host a community Thanksgiving Dinner, free to everyone that chose to show up. The first couple of years it was just friends and family, but it soon turned into a big event where people of all walks of life would join us. It was exhausting because we didn’t stop moving the entire day, but it was beautiful. It gave hope to some families who would have most likely treated the day as any other, and it brought others together that never really thought much about the meaning of giving thanks. It also gave the elderly a place to go, instead of being alone, and it gave the singles a reason to not spend it at home eating TV Dinners.

To me Thanksgiving is not about what you do, but about spending it doing something that makes you smile. For me, that is being around people that I love and taking that day to spend with them, not worrying about schedules and making money.

And, now we move onto the reason I am so against big retailers that have chosen to open on Thanksgiving because of greed. Those that make the decisions are home with their families, while the employees are working. It’s not right to steal that one day from families. They will make the money regardless of that one day, so why be so selfish? I have always been a big supporter of local businesses and tried to stay away from the box stores during the holidays, but now I make sure of it. It not only keeps the locals in business, but it provides for their families. The big stores don’t need my money, they will survive despite my disdain. lol. Another reason I prefer to shop local is because each gift is unique, whereas, when bought at Walmart there’s a million kids getting that same gift.

In closing, my hope for you all is that you make a choice to do something on Thanksgiving, despite COVID, despite situations and despite anything else. Maybe there is a local charity that’s serving the community that could use an extra hand, or an elderly couple that would love the company. Whatever you choose to do, be sure to do something that makes you smile.

For us, we will most likely spend it with the family, although a much smaller gathering this year than most, it will still be spent being thankful for another day of turkey.