November 20, 2020

Thanksgiving 2020 - Reflecting on uncertainty

Who isn't looking forward to having a few days off with family? The sight and scents of a beautifully prepared meal shared among loved ones and friends.


Perhaps you are like me, uncertain as to how this event will play out in the middle of a pandemic.

I was doing my regular shopping yesterday and noticed the seasonal music playing faintly in the background. I held back the "Bah humbug". Another thing I was not ready for.

Navigating the path of arrows between the isles, I followed my cart to the checkout line. I stood perfectly on the dot that said "Stand Here". Catching the eye of a lady before me and noticing her cart, I was envious. She seemed to have an entire "Thanksgiving meal" figured out, while I was still eating the left-over candy from Halloween.

By the time I got home, my gloominess and feelings of inadequacy were gone. I unpacked my bags and went out to enjoy the clear sky and the rustling of leaves.
I found a better mindset, but it was not going to come during a shopping trip. Somewhere between the still, calm landscape, at a dog park, interrupted by a few mischievous barks and kids laughter, I saw a good frame of reference. Simply felt happy to be alive.


Then I got in the car. Watched as the scenery passed by, remembering conversations and faces reflected from the corners of my mind. What is Thanksgiving if not this? It's a time to reflect and hope for the best.

“Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.”

~ Samuel Smiles


Historians believe that the First Thanksgiving in America had a different menu. One mostly prepared in traditional Native American style.
The ancient origins of Thanksgiving stem from the tradition of harvest festivals, stretching back long before the first American event, in 1621.

The holiday would not exist, if it wasn't for Sarah Josepha Hale, the author of "Mary had a little lamb. She petitioned Lincoln, for a day when all Americans could give thanks. It was at a time when the country was divided by civil war.

Lincoln proclaimed a Thanksgiving holiday, in 1863. It was in 1939, that President Roosevelt moved up the holiday a week. Extending the shopping season to boost the economy.

Not all Americans decided to follow celebrations on the new date, however. In 1941, it was congress who settled the dispute. They declared the official date to be the 4th Thursday of November. Check out the history channel video here. "Thanks giving" can happen on any day but this particular Holiday is about us all, being thankful together.


I glanced at the headlines in the media. The ones with those numbers reflected as it has been the norm for a while now. My mind went to the park and echoes of laughter, my heart, light as air, but the sun was now obstructed by some of those grey clouds. For so many of us, perhaps Thanksgiving will never feel the same.

It's not as important as how we celebrate, as much as it is to reflect on the things to remain thankful for.

Here is a quote to reflect on before we head out for those "Black Friday" deals:

“Never let the things you want make you forget the things you have.”


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