Even cynics feel gratitude
For a cynical kind of person, holidays provide a great opportunity to be, well, cynical. I am actually pretty indifferent about most holidays, not seeing the point of many events people seem to get excited about, like Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and even Easter. Well, actually Easter is okay, but only because of the chocolate factor. The only holiday I am not completely indifferent about, however, is Christmas, because I hate Christmas with a passion. But that is a column for another time. I am not indifferent about Thanksgiving, however.
I can say that I actually do like Thanksgiving. I love the food; nothing beats a succulent turkey dinner, in my opinion, and I always have some sweet dessert made with one of my favourite ingredients, pumpkin. Thanksgiving has always been a more relaxed holiday in my life, not one of hassle and stress, like Christmas, and not one where I, as a child, had to be dragged off to church multiple times over a four day weekend during Easter. It’s called an Easter break for a reason!
Also, as cynical, critical, and sarcastic as I can be in my day-to-day life, I really believe that getting together with family and friends every so often for a big feast is a great thing to do, and I think that having a day set aside during the year to be thankful and show some gratitude is good for the soul.
Our Canadian Thanksgiving has roots in the English and European Harvest Celebration, and the holiday here was made official January 31, 1957.
Thanksgiving was about celebrating the harvest season in Canada, being the agricultural centre that we are, and having the ties to Europe that we do. But on a personal level, it’s nice to take some time to reflect on life’s bounty as well. In times past, I haven’t felt that life has provided me with a lot of bounty to be grateful for, but thankfully this has changed.
This year, I am very grateful that I had two Thanksgiving celebrations to addend: one with some good friends and one with my dad. I also get a third – an upcoming with other family members who were out of town on the actual holiday.
I am grateful that this year so far has provided me with opportunities I’d never dreamed of. For me, life really did start at 35: I got two great jobs; I moved into my own place after having always lived with someone for the previous 13 years; I’ve met some fantastic people and have some opportunities to meet more before this year is out; I’ve started getting out and participating in the world around me more than I ever have done before, and my health has been more excellent this year than it has been in a very long time. I am grateful for my renewed energy and new-found sense of confidence and freedom.
I am grateful for epic bear sightings, epic bear scat sightings, and a most excellent stretch of nice weather this fall that has allowed one of my rose bushes to keep blooming well into October. I am grateful for my cat, I am grateful for emotionally sustaining work, relationships, and hobbies. I am grateful for my neighbour’s rhubarb plant, which I unabashedly pilfered from all summer. I am grateful that curling season starts soon because that is one aspect of winter I actually look forward to.
But of course, now that Thanksgiving is over, I get to look forward to my holiday nemesis, Christmas. Great! But, as I said earlier, more on that later.