Tuesday, November 21, 2006
10 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT THANKSGIVING
1. GIVE THANKS. GET FED. It's the one and only requirement of the day--though when you think of it, you could live a lifetime on that solitary rule. It's also one holiday that hasn't been infiltrated and drained of zest by consumerism.
2. The happy noise of arrivals.
3. Vegetables! Lots of them, and in some of my favorite colors, too.
4. Traditions. In our family, we all write down one thing we're thankful for and put them into a cup. Just before dinner, we take turns drawing one out, reading it aloud, and guessing who said it. One rule: you can't say anything you used in a previous year. (That prevents boring people like me from saying "my family" every time.)
5. You can eat pie, pecan or pumpkin, apple or even the dreaded mince (my mother's favorite) without an ounce of guilt. In fact, it's practically a duty.
6. The naps. Take the deadly combination of wine, tryptophan laden turkey, and heavy desserts, mix with the drone of an endless football game, add a grey November day and what do you get? The best naps of the year.
7. The little white onions. I don't know about you, but Thanksgiving is the only occasion that would ever persuade me to undertake the laborious task of peeling those things. But on that one day, they're indispensible.
8. Memory. Holidays are frequently minefields of remembering, of feeling the absence of those whose presence once colored the day, but who have now left behind a colorless void.
That's when you have to hold fast to the Thanksgiving rule. Remember? "Give thanks. Get fed." On every other day of the year, you can think about loss, but not on Thanksgiving. This is a day to be grateful for all the ways the absent enriched our lives, and continue to enrich it.
9. Leftovers! Cook enough and you may not have to prepare another meal for a week or until no one ever wants to see another mound of stuffing as long as they live--or for at least another year.
10. The entire family around the table at one time. Whether it's just like it used to be, or just like it never was, whether it's a party of two or a crowd of twenty-two, whether you're seated next to your favorite aunt, or the cousin you never could stand, Thanksgiving is a chance to embrace each other and be grateful for one another-- in our joy and in our lack, in our abundance, and in all our glorious imperfections.
A happy one to all!
Now does anyone have a number 11?