Thanksgiving: My Favorite Holiday

Yesterday I spent the morning chopping some wood, or at least attempting to. The gas-powered wood splitter wasn’t working and my dad was cutting up logs with the chainsaw. I was able to get through a few logs but I quickly tired when the axe kept logging itself in the logs. It made it hard to chop them through and remove the axe to take another swing. We moved into the barn to wire up speakers and a radio now that the rehab on the downstairs part of the barn is complete. “The cows will be able to listen to music now” my dad says. Wednesday we rounded up the cows and fixed part of a fence they broke through. Being in the country is Zen for me.

For most of the past 15 or so Thanksgivings I have spent them on the family farm. A lot has changed in those years but one thing remains the same: the food is always amazing. It will always be my favorite meal. In fact, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Right now I’m writing this while I watch the fire dance in the wood burning stove. I’m forced to disconnect because there is no internet and my cell phone gets very poor coverage (I frequently wish it didn’t get any signal). I read, I relax, I help my dad with projects, and I disconnect for a few days.

Over the years, though, I’ve realized though that being on the family farm and disconnecting isn’t the main reason why I like it so much. At Thanksgiving the focus is on family time and good food. It’s about being thankful for what you have and remembering those that aren’t with us anymore. There are no gifts exchanged. Commercialism of the holiday doesn’t exist leading up to it. What is there to sell you other than a turkey? Right, there is nothing…but they day after…well that kicks off the ‘holiday’ selling season. And there is a sharp contrast between Thanksgiving and black Friday. Christmas is my least favorite holiday for all the opposite reasons I love Thanksgiving. The focus on gifts, commercialism, decorations is excessive and I frequently find myself wishing that Christmas season would be over…and the Christmas music starts after Halloween! Oh my!!!

I have a lot to be thankful for this year. I’m pursuing my passion. I’m happy and healthy. My family is healthy. And probably 100 other things I am not remembering right now. So before the Christmas season creeps in pushing commercialism, give one more hug. Tell someone how much they mean to you. Cherish the time you spend with your family and friends. Laugh. Smile. Those are the moments in life that can’t be purchased in a store and actually mean something.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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