Woohoo, y’all!! I am excited to announce that I just got out of class, and after having completed my research presentation (on African American and Mexican Immigrant domestic workers, in case you were wondering), I am pretty much scot free from all big assignments ’til after Thanksgiving break!! I am planning to leave here on Saturday to visit with Annie and her “little siblings” for a little bit, then head to Roanoke Sunday morning to pick up Aub from the airport on the way to church. Of course I am very excited to start the break!
I have always loved Thanksgiving, but not just because of the food, although as a life-long “good eater” I believe that is a reason in itself to love the holiday. I just love so much how Thanksgiving is a time where friends and family all over the country come together around the table to share a meal and express their gratefulness. There is certainly something to be said for the way food connects us human beings. It brings us together, regardless of class, race, culture, or any of those other constructions that society burdens us with. In a lot of ways, I feel like there is an almost sacred element to sharing a meal. Eating is a necessary part of all of our lives, so it connects us on a very natural, inherent level.
To me, it only makes sense that we share our thanksgivings over a great meal. Of course, we are thankful for the food itself, that which nourishes our bodies. At the same time, spending a meal with our loved ones sustains our soul; deep conversation pleases our intellect. While I believe that we should try to take advantage of sharing meals and thanking God for all our blessings on a regular basis, Thanksgiving day is an extra-special occasion for doing this.
I have lots of Thanksgiving meal memories– from eating our traditional family foods (including, of course, chocolate and sour cream pound cake and gypsy) at Nanny and Papa’s in Sumter, to celebrating the holiday at Creekside after playing in the woods with cousins for hours, to sharing the day with close family at home. I love all of these memories; none is more poignant than another.
At some point during high school, it seems like we started staying home for Thanksgiving more often, and just inviting everyone (really, everyone) to come over to our house for the day. I think one of the best parts about Thanksgiving is catching up with family that you don’t get to see very often, and in my case, wish so much I could visit with more. Another best part about it though is including anyone who doesn’t have a place to spend the day to join in on your celebration. In my opinion, especially when Thanksgiving is concerned, the more the merrier! What is better than a big group of friends and family gathered around a huge, beautiful table sharing delicious homemade food, lots of laughter, and declarations of thankfulness? Not much, if you ask me.
Sometimes I think about all I have– relationships, education, material things, etc– and honestly do not know how to express how blessed and thankful I am. I have always been taught that God provides for us, even in what feel like the most trying times. I am thankful for the day of Thanksgiving, because it reminds us of the importance of relationships and that, as often as possible, we should make it known to God and others how grateful we are. I like this translation from The Message of Psalm 100:
1-2 On your feet now—applaud God! Bring a gift of laughter,
sing yourselves into his presence.
3 Know this: God is God, and God, God.
He made us; we didn’t make him.
We’re his people, his well-tended sheep.
4 Enter with the password: “Thank you!”
Make yourselves at home, talking praise.
Thank him. Worship him.
5 For God is sheer beauty,
all-generous in love,
loyal always and ever.