When a holiday comes around, I like to look through my old blog posts to see what I've already written on the subject. Today is Thanksgiving here in the US, and in the past I've contemplated a Minoan-style celebration of the day as well as a year-long experiment in thankfulness that, like most experiments of this type, didn't go as I expected.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays: a harvest feast to celebrate all the good things in life, abundance, and gratitude. But it's also fraught with serious historical problems and capitalist labor issues.
So how can we celebrate Thanksgiving in a way that has meaning for us and isn't hurtful to others? By focusing on the harvest aspect of the day. For as long as there has been agriculture, there have been harvests. That's thousands of years of human history and prehistory that we share with each other and our ancestors.
So thank the Earth, the source of our food and our very lives. And thank the ancestors, on whose shoulders we stand. If you didn't have a dumb supper at Samhain (or even if you did), include the ancestors at your Thanksgiving table. If this has been a rough year for you and yours, hold onto those ancestors as a source of strength. Maybe sing them a song of appreciation.
And hold onto each other. Whether your Thanksgiving table is full of blood family or family of choice, look each other in the eye and say, "Thank you for being here." And hear it with your heart when they say the same thing to you.