Anyone that knows me knows that I loathe Thanksgiving. Hate it. Absolutely hate it.
It’s mainly because I’m forced to eat that damn turkey. Who the heck willingly eats turkey any another day of the year? It’s a nasty bird, folks. There are so many other succulent options.
The other part I hate is the forced get-togethers. Just because it’s the fourth Thursday of November, I must, have to, and am required to go see people. Understand that I don’t hate people, nor do I hate my family. I hate the idea I’m FORCED to see them due to a certain day in the calendar. Add in all the stress with coordinating schedules, time, food, seats, groceries, political opinions… and that damn turkey: well, I’m exhausted before the week even starts.
This year is a little different for me. About a week ago, I got the sad news that my cousin passed away and last Saturday I made the trek up to Cleveland to see my family and pay my respects. She was a wonderful woman, kind person, and great mom. And despite the unfortunate circumstances, it was a blessing to see my extended family together to celebrate her life. As I parted ways with my cousins, many of us talked about planning a day to see each other during the summer. Life is too short and we need to cherish the moments with our loved ones as much as we can. I had lost one my dear friends at the coffee shop earlier in the year and realized you never know when you may not see someone again.
Which got me thinking about this Thanksgiving and what the holiday is really about… and I had my Grinch of Thanksgiving moment where my heart grows three sizes.
Thanksgiving isn’t about turkey.
It’s not about cleaning the house, getting out the fine china, the number of chairs at the table, the food being served, the car ride, the Macy’s Day parade, who’s coming, who’s not, having the perfect meal, which football game to watch or tolerating someone’s political views.
It’s about being grateful for each other.
I think that’s what I hate most about Thanksgiving. The celebration of thanking each other for being in our lives is bundled up and reserved for one day only.
I think we should do that every day.
So, please, forget about the stress of the day and planning for perfection. Just enjoy the moments you have… and keep on enjoying them as long as you can.
From all of us at the Pencilstorm offices, to everyone out there in rock n roll land. We wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving. We’re grateful to have you as readers.
Wal Ozello is a science fiction techno-thriller novelist and the author of Assignment 1989 , Revolution 1990, and Sacrifice 2086. He's the lead singer of the former Columbus rock band Armada. On Thanksgiving morning, you’ll find him at Colin’s Coffee at the counter. During the day he’ll be cooking Beef Tenderloin, Garlicy Artichoke Hearts, Butter Sauteed Mushrooms and Marshmallow Crusted Mashed Sweet Potatoes. No Turkey.