Well, another Thanksgiving has come and gone and I’m curious, were you a sleeves-rolled-up-sweat-dripping-from-your-brow-over-a-hot-stove-participant? Or did you just show up and start eating?
Thirty relatives descended upon my sister’s house on Cape Cod this year for the annual day of thanks. With 2 or 3 cooks milling about the kitchen, most of us, myself included, were the eaters. (My responsibility is on the other end. Organizing the cleanup is my specialty, after all.) As I washed and dried and put away, I couldn’t help but be amazed how quickly the gobblers gobbled up the meal compared to the hours spent planning, shopping, preparing and actually making it. This is no different for other events, like weddings or commencements. Months, weeks, if not years in the making, the event itself comes and goes in the blink of an eye.
Even though the time it took to consume the food was a fraction of the prep time, I now consider the entire day the “feast,” not just the eating part. Our Thanksgiving “feast” bega
n around noon as cousins and aunts and uncles arrived, and talking didn’t quiet down until sometime after 10PM when the last home movie ended and my over-stuffed and groggy family members, ranging in age from 6 to 69 that were strewn across couches, spread out on the floor and slumped in chairs, got up and waddled off to their respective beds.
For many, Thanksgiving has become more like a speed bump until Christmas; a pause from the shopping and scurrying before dashing off to the mall for 50% off midnight madness sales. However, in our family, Thanksgiving is about the non-stop hugs, toasts made, discussions had, songs sung, presents distributed and jokes told making us thankful for each other. For me, Thanksgiving is not about the turkey or the vegetarian stuffing or the homemade apple pie on the table, but about the people seated around it.