17 November, 2007

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
I love it.
Love it love it.

The food is a feast, and all of it easy to cook (in general, I am stove and grill lady. Everything on the stoveTOP is usually a disaster of some description...). It is a day shared with friends, family, and "chosen family." It lacks the pressures of Christmas, and it's sole purpose is to reflect upon and remember the things we have to be grateful for. It's our time to express gratitude, feel comforted by the simple joys the world has to offer us, to literally give thanks... From easy-to-cook turkey/stuffing/gravy, to the thousands of fortunate moments, the multitude of blessings that we receive each year.

I have had a Thanksgiving of some description every year I have lived in the UK...
2002: Murano Street Student Village pot luck held in a hired conference room with florescent lights. We were still thankful. This was also the beginning of JNF's delightful recounting of The Story of Thanksgiving. "Tradition!"
2003: We hired the Chandler Studio Theatre in Glasgow, it looked like a Pilgrim Nightclub, and grew in numbers!
2004: JNF and I host The Day at the beautiful 29 Westbourne Gardens (our cozy flat), The numbers tripled and even our South African upstairs neighbors joined us. Saying our "thanks" took over an hour. We ate on the floor, there were children who squashed stuffing into the carpet. Brilliant.
2005: Ellie organizes the decor and Zoe cooks THE WORKS. The entire company of WIW sing America's National Anthem... in English accents, and feast during the interval.
2006: Turkey Day in Sheffield. Fiddler cast gather at Henry's digs for a full on festive feast. This was my best turkey, and there was much game playing and cast bonding in the middle of what felt like nowhere.
2007: A quiet, intimate dinner and giving of thanks with loved ones, in a place that finally, after all this time, feels like home.

Every year this stuffy old tradition is a hit with the often reticent Brits. It is not that the Brits are thankless or lacking gratefulness. No, no. They are simply a reserved being. A creature of frequently repressed emotion. And emotional expression, I'm afraid, is what Thanksgiving is all about.

But it isn't about the event for me. It's about the ceremony. Stopping. Taking a proverbial breath from the hamster wheel of life and looking around. Seeing the gifts.

...Something has just occurred to me. I feel like I might be Britain's Thanksgiving Fairy. Yes. I am the self-appointed Thanksgiving Fairy of Her Majesty's United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland). I spread joy and have a magic wand that not only fills you with the sprit of Thanksgiving, it also blesses you with a momentary whiff of pumpkin pie.

So. Happy Thanksgiving, Reader. I am thankful for many things, but I am also thankful for you...

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."
-- John Fitzgerald Kennedy

6 comments:

  1. oh and happy thanksgiving!
    I am so thankful for people who I love to spend this holiday with me and to make it special for me!
    Hope you have a great day too!

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Britain's Thanksgiving Fairy"

    That's pretty cute.

    ReplyDelete
  3. it is pretty cute - and pretty doable!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you, cheer has been sufficiently spread by your very own Ambassador of Thanks: The Thanksgiving Fairy! [Cheers and polite applause] Next year I aim to reach more of you, and encourage you all to engage in the SPIRIT of Thanksgiving all year long [wave of the magic wand with whipped cream top, pumpkin pie essence fills the air] THANK you. x

    ReplyDelete
  5. how was your thanksgiving al?

    successful?

    Of course it was and you even managed to fill the rest of miserable britain with festive cheer!

    ReplyDelete

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