“I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.” Jon Stewart
On Thanksgiving Day, I would ask my family what they were thankful for. My mother used to do that. It was a tradition – something I wanted to carry on from my childhood. Thanksgiving is a day to remember to be grateful. We never prayed before a meal but one day a year we said thank you.
I hadn’t spent Thanksgiving with my mother in many years. Our families lived back East and Thanksgiving was the holiday that my in-laws came to visit. My sister-in-law loved to cook Thanksgiving dinner and we had it at their house. Since we were not cooking, we had Thanksgiving movie before going to dinner. There are always big movies that open on Thanksgiving. That was our family holiday tradition.
When our life changed, Thanksgiving became one of those days that we didn’t know what do with. We didn’t have a tradition anymore. There are so many expectations and family issues that come up with holidays. It is hard for me not to have a plan but I try to let go of that now. Sometimes I do it at the house and sometimes we go somewhere. We spend it with other people’s families or we do something by ourselves. I miss the security of having a tradition but I have learned to go with the flow. Whatever we do, it always turns out to be fun and delicious – different, but fun.
My mother died on the weekend before Thanksgiving so I am always a little sad now around the holidays. Wherever I am celebrating, in my head, I hear my mother’s voice asking, what are you thankful for today?
Here is my list.
Sunsets. I can see the sunset on the beach every night.
The way the light hits my house in the morning.
My dog – even though he is not the same as my first dog.
My kids are happy, healthy and doing well.
I’m still traveling.
Having an amazing day in a country not your own.
A great walk through the Venice Beach canals to have lunch.
Opening a beautifully wrapped present.
An interesting conversation.
The feeling I have in an airport.
Someone who makes me laugh.
A good hair day.
Fun with my friends.
A great movie, museum, play, ballet or TV show.
Walking or driving by a beautiful street art mural.
Having an amazing meal.
Great music and rock concerts.
Getting lost in a book.
Writing something that I’m proud of.
My favorite jeans.
Shoes that do not hurt.
The endorphin rush after exercise.
Still able to have some of my photographs and art.
Hitting every green light on Venice Blvd on the way home (especially at Lincoln Blvd – the world’s longest red light)