Thanksgiving was always my favorite holiday. I loved the smells that wafted through the house gently waking me with the promise of turkey, to be followed by pie. No two Thanksgivings were precisely the same, the faces around the table varied, but there was a familiar quality to the day - watching the parade while playing a board game, helping with dinner preparations by staying out of the way until it was time to set the table. There was always laughter and a sense of sharing that transcended a mere meal consumed simultaneously.
I feel sorry for Kristi Gustafson Barlette. Despite being one of the few people "who actually likes her family," she doesn't seem to get Thanksgiving. It isn't about the food being bland or the time of day it is being served. Or even what we're wearing. The significance of taking a day, (or a half day these days due to the commercialization of our national day of giving thanks), to pause and consider all of the gifts we receive, got lost somewhere on the way to her emotional in-box.
I don't mean to completely rag on KGB, but she does seem to court criticism and controversy in an apparent bid for attention and blog traffic. There were plenty of comments made on her post about this topic and many were in complete support of her younger, much taller Scrooge impersonation. As I ran a flat, suburban 5k this morning, I counted far more blessings than miles. I decided that what I really loved about Thanksgiving was that it reminded me of a second Sunday - a fat newspaper to leisurely read, more coffee, maybe something with bubbles scandalously early, cooking, football or music, people we love nearby...
I just finished having a late breakfast with my boys. This is the second year I've planned a Thanksgiving that did not include spending the entire day with the boys, or the extended family to which they will always belong. The fact that we ate bagels instead of a predictable mix of white and dark meat had no bearing on the value of our time spent together.
After a meal shared with my children, a meal when Liam sang, with tears welled up in his eyes, a beautiful version of a hymn he learned attending church with his grandmother, Griffin shared stories of himself - a 7th grader straddling the intersection of boy and young man, and Quinn shared his bagel and his last piece of pear, Thanksgiving remains my favorite holiday of the year.