For me, Thanksgiving involves being stressed, cooking too much food, eating too much food while the football game plays in the background and watching about a million commercials about black friday sales and then people going to black friday sales and being trampled to death to save a few dollars.

The early thanksgivings started because the Pilgrims were thankful when they had a good harvest. They would gather all the food they had been growing and store it for the winter. They got some turkeys, the Indians brought some deer and they had a three-day feast celebrating their health, friendship, good harvest, and being thankful to God for getting them through another year.

“By autumn of 1621, the Pilgrims had much for which to be thankful. After the harvest, Massasoit and about ninety other Indians joined the Pilgrims for the great English tradition of HARVEST FESTIVAL. The participants celebrated for several days, dining on venison, goose, duck, turkey, fish, and of course, cornbread, the result of a bountiful corn harvest. This tradition was repeated at harvest time in the following years.”

I just feel like we’re missing the point.

I want Thanksgiving to be a day where we enjoy being with each other. Where friends and family can come together and cook food together without stressing out. Where families don’t spend the day bickering or drinking too much. Where football isn’t the most important thing and where you don’t get bombarded by thousands of black friday commercials. Where saying what your thankful for at the table before the meal isn’t just a habit and I can blurt out I’m thankful for this stuffing…  really did that yesterday.

But seriously. Are we really thankful? I feel like Thanksgiving is just a gateway to black friday and the rest of the Christmas insanity.  I guess I’m just disenchanted. I want my own thanksgiving. with my own family. one that involves people who actually like spending time together. people who enjoy being around each other. who like cooking together. who like playing games. who aren’t rude, condescending, sarcastic. My dream family is so different from the family that i have. How un thankful am I?

Maybe we just need to take a step back. Maybe we need to reevaluate how we’re spending this day. It should be about spending time with the people we do life with. Sharing with others around us. Being generous. Helpful. Loving. Expressing our thanks for the people in our lives who are there for us. Who are important to us. Being thankful to God for the harvest. Or at least for the fact that we have more than enough food to get us through the winter. Maybe we should spend time thinking about people who are less fortunate than us. Maybe we should donate a turkey. Or make a meal for someone else. Or invite a family to join us who might not be able to make their own meal. Or give pies to homeless people on the street.

Maybe it’s about being around the table. Maybe the tv isn’t on. And we aren’t thinking about shopping. Maybe the being thankful part isn’t a rushed time before the meal while we’re secretly hoping the food isn’t getting cold. I feel like we get things so upside-down here. We think the wrong things are important while we forget about the things that really matter.

Maybe it’s time to turn some things around.

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