I have been told by a dear friend that I would disappoint the readers of this blog if I were to write a post about being thankful this week. So cliche! she cried. You can do better than that! she preached. Surprise everyone! she suggested.
Oh how I’ve missed hearing those guaranteed-to-be-heard-in-a-writing-workshop phrases.
Well, I’m sorry dear friend, but a mushy-ushy-ooey-gooey being thankful blog post is what you’re gonna get. I like to think of my self as a debunker of the cliche by being as cliche as possible. : )
So–happiest of all Thanksgivings to you, reader. I so appreciate you listening to what I have to say. Think of this blog as half yours–if there is ever anything you want me to write about, or if you have suggestions, or even if you think I’m wrong about everything there is to be utterly wrong about, please write me. I love hearing from you. Thank you thank you thank you.
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. It’s Christmas minus the attitude that you have to give someone a gift to show them you care. We still have the family, the food, the cold weather, the Chai tea lattes–all the important stuff. Let’s take advantage of this, before Christmas comes and cheapens everything.
After boarding the plane in Houston for my connecting flight back to San Francisco, we sat on the runway for about 45 minutes. The pilot was holding the plane for some international passengers who were on a delayed previous flight. The guy next to me was very, very unhappy about this, swearing more than I did during the World Series if the Giants did anything less than hit a home-run on every at bat. He was even more unhappy to be going back to his mom’s house for the holidays.
“I guess I’m thankful for my mom,” he said, smacking some bubble gum, “but I don’t see the point in having to come home during every single [oddly-strung-together-list-of-swear-words-that-I-can’t-remember-now] holiday.”
I just kind of smiled and nodded, but now I wish I would have said something to this guy. I wish I would have told him that I’m sorry that he doesn’t see the point of visiting his mom during the holidays because IT IS THE ENTIRE POINT. This is the most important thing we can do. Rather than presents, cards, cookies, flowers, love letters–be with the people you are thankful for. Just simply be with them. Be together.
It’s easier than people make it out to be. When did the holidays become these stressful, dreaded, horrible days of ripping our hair out? Why is it so hard to chill with our peeps?
I remember one time when I was much younger, all of my cousins, aunts, uncles, grandma and grandpa were over at my mom’s house for Christmas. After dinner, we all watched To Kill a Mockingbird. Somehow, the adults got into this huge argument about whether or not they should remake the film into a color movie (it was in black and white). Yes, this was a full on, voices raised, egos bruised, legitimate fight. All over To Kill a Frickin’ Mockingbird.
Think of your own family’s version of why-the-hell-did-we-fight-about-that holiday argument. Funny, aren’t they? Looking back, yes, but at the time, it probably sucked. It probably ruined the mood.
This Thanksgiving, be thankful that you even have the opportunity to be with the people you get in those silly fights with. Be thankful that you have family around you. Be thankful you have them to talk with, laugh with, eat with, drink with. This is all an often forgotten about privilege.
Soon, you will be without them again, you will be back at school, work, back to your normal life. This week will go by fast.
So slow it all down. Turn off the computers, the televisions, the cellphones, the iWhatevers. Talk. Laugh. Snuggle up. Come closer. Come into this. Send some not-so-instant messages. Be together.