You probably know by now: I’m a complete rabble-rouser who can’t stand traditions that get in the way of a meaningful life. Today, I’m going to eviscerate the holiday where we’re supposed to be "thankful." Yes... I know we just celebrated Valentine’s Day, and Thanksgiving isn’t until November, but I want us to look at how we’re being manipulated by this holiday. We’re told to "Be thankful on this special day," but we’re bombarded with sales, sports, parades, and all manner of distractions. Do you remember what you were thankful for this past Thanksgiving? "Well ... I was thankful I didn’t have to go shopping, and I was thankful that we survived the in-laws, and..." The bottom line is simple: We can’t isolate our thankfulness to a single day in November. It will not work.
So, I’m declaring a new vision for Thanksgiving, one that accounts for the other 364 days of the year. I’d like us to consider each morning the start of a New Thanksgiving. There might be parades, sales, and sports afoot for other reasons, but just ignore all that and celebrate the day with a statement of honest-to-goodness thankfulness. You don’t have to cook a turkey; you don’t have to dress up like a Pilgrim; you don’t have to get out the fancy china and bake a pumpkin pie unless you want to. Just think of your own life and then announce some of the things that make it worth getting up for.
Personally, I’m thankful for tea, and coffee, and espresso, and all manner of hot drinks. I’m utterly thankful for loud electric guitars pumped through tube amps. I’m thankful I have air conditioning that works in Georgia’s July inferno. I’m thankful I can poke fun at politicians and not have to worry about government thugs hauling me off to a prison. There are so many things I’m thankful for, and now I have 364 new days to show my gratitude. And when Leap Year comes around, I’ll have an extra day of thankfulness. We can be thankful all year, and when the "official" holiday rolls around in November, go ahead and read the sales ads, and watch the parades, and enjoy the great football games. You won’t have the pressure of focusing all your thankfulness on that one day. Thankfulness will be on our tongues year-round, and each day will echo with gratitude.
David McCoy, a notorious storyteller and proud Yellow Jacket, lives in Covington. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.