I love American holidays, they seem to fit into my lifestyle and way of thinking so much more than European ones which were originally religious, but have become just another meaningless traffic jam. Of them all, Thanksgiving is my favorite, though I’ve only, actually, spent one on US soil.
I like the fact that it’s seen as time to connect with friends and/or family, without the need to spend money (which today we don’t have anyway) on gifts which are often returned by the end of the year. It’s not that I dislike giving gifts, I love to find the right gift for someone, but the pressure to find the right gift (as opposed to something generic because I don’t have time) for lots of people for the same date seems a bit, well, silly, really.
I totally, totally adore Thanksgiving food. Much is similar to the modern/traditional (oxymoron?) English Christmas fayre – turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes. It’s the one meal in the year when I utterly abandon all thoughts of healthy eating and just revel in food! Well, twice a year if I’m lucky enough to do both Thanksgiving and Christmas!
Lastly, I like that it’s a time for reflection and gratitude. So much piffle, as well as so much eloquent stuff, is written about gratitude these days, but I think we are all aware it’s something we should indulge in more than once a year. Being grateful lifts our spirits, spreads the love, puts things in perspective and chills us out. So, here is my list for this year:
1. No-one will be surprised that top of my list are the best sons in the world (oh, yeah, I know some of you have different ideas about that, but they can ALL be the best, can’t they!). My sons are caring, intelligent, humanitarian, accomplished, sporty, aware, loving and kind, and make me prouder with every breath they take.
2. Lollopy, old Trixy – best dog I’ve ever had, great friend, loving, loyal, no trouble at all. One of the best things I did -deciding to keep her when she turned up on our doorstep over ten years ago.
3. My friends. Wow, but that is a very varied group of folk these days. Some I know better than others. Spread all over the world almost. The ones I know well have been there for me at some time or other over the years, so have some of those I don’t know so well! I am so lucky in this.
4. The internet – because it helps me to keep in contact with family and friends old and new, and even brings me new friendships!
5. Sunsets and sunrises, starry skies and blue ocean – Tenerife. Contrary to some advertising, it isn’t paradise, but it is varied, beautiful and blessed with a wonderful climate, which makes life easier and delightful most days.
6. In no particular order, the rest; the Blues, rock ‘n’ roll, the music of Mali and of Senegal, books (way too many wonderful ones to pick out a few here), Canarian wines, Italian food, goats’ cheese and fresh bread, mangoes, chocolate (in all its many forms), bourbon, gelato, cinnamon, cappuccino, chestnuts and marrons glacés, baby carrots and fresh celery………
Get the picture? Yep, things have been better, yep I could do with a bit more of this or that, but there is a heck of a lot to be thankful for in my life, so if you’re reading this and you are family or friend (even in the widest sense!) thank you.