Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
It’s worth the family debates. It’s worth the traveling and putting up with your in-laws, your drunk uncle, and god forbid the noise of Detroit Lions somewhere in the background.
Unlike other days it has avoided the consumerist trap. It’s not too patriotic or kitschy. Nor does it drag on — it is a single day, a nice day-off on Friday, and then you’re back.
It’s red wine and stuffing and game meat and family. It’s simple. It’s also the first step into the holiday season, like a Thursday before a great weekend, you just need to wrap things up Friday. The worst part of Thanksgiving is likely self-induced: you ate too much, drank too much the night before, or picked the fight with that drunk Uncle.
I am thankful to have a family I can enjoy this day with. Many others do not have that family. And for them this day is painful - a reminder of what is lost or never was. I am thankful despite how hard family can be. Families are challenging, strange, and often just disappointing. Family can challenge your faith in family and make you wonder what all the effort is for. But it is worth the trouble.
How valuable a day that requests you pause and reflect on what you have versus the alternative - scrambling for that which you don't. No gifts, no cards, no rituals, just sitting and eating.