This Thanksgiving, when we could so easily focus our attention on the loss of some of our long-time holiday traditions and practices, for what can we be especially thankful? Our Thanksgiving weekend will not be the usual busiest travel time of the year, and even though we might miss large gatherings of family and friends, we probably will not spend nearly as much time as in the past, waiting in lines and making extensive preparations for gatherings and meals. We will very likely have more quality time, if we choose to take it, for reflecting on what, or more likely who, is most important to us.
Our purpose for celebrating Thanksgiving with others is not primarily the food, but love for family, friends, associates, and persons in need. How we manifest our love this season might require creativity, but we have various means of communication available to us for conveying the personal messages that truly lift spirits, and are in themselves causes for gratitude in both giving and receiving. Our love for one another is not lessened by restrictions due to the virus. Rather, it is because of our care for self and others that we are making conscientious decisions about how to celebrate Thanksgiving, and with whom.
Instead of beginning the Pre-Christmas holiday season by shopping frantically on Black Friday, we can enjoy the peace and quiet of our homes. Let us reflect on what is most meaningful in our lives and savor the many persons, events, ideas, and inspirations for which we are thankful. We can also spend more time with whom we most want to share, and experience these meaningful relationships in a more satisfying manner than is often possible in large group gatherings.
Let us have a truly thankful Thanksgiving.
Randy Roche, SJ