By Racheal Bola-Keji
I have always been envious of Thanksgiving Day: the turkey, the potatoes, pumpkin pie, the family bonding experience etc. There’s just something about coming together with family and reminiscing on the blessings of the year that melts my heart.
And yes I know we get Christmas and Easter, but Thanksgiving is different, it’s a special feeling, a symbolism of unity and gratitude.
Just picture it: it’s November 26th 2020, the winter winds are blowing rapidly, the roads are quiet. But you are indoors. The dining table is set with an array of food and you are surrounded by your intermediate family. Conversations are booming, gratefulness is imminent in the room. It is just an all round good time.
This is what I imagine Thanksgiving to be like, an all round day of bonding, sharing and feasting. Everyone deserves to have a day like this, the whole world deserves a Thanksgiving day!
My second hand Thanksgiving experience:
No matter how big or small your experience is, you’ve probably been exposed to the traditions of Thanksgiving second handedly. Think about it, have you ever watched an American sitcom that doesn’t include at least one scene or episode about Thanksgiving Day? If your answer is no, then just like me, you’ve second handedly experienced Thanksgiving through the media.
Being the avid ‘Friends’ fan that I am, I know that without fail, no matter what season, there is always a full episode dedicated to Thanksgiving Day. I have had many second hand experiences of Thanksgiving just from watching Friends. My favorite episode has to be S1:E9 “The One Where Underdog Gets Away”, it’s the first time Monica, Chandler, Rachel, Joey, Ross & Phoebe spend thanksgiving together as friends instead of with their families. Although the celebrations didn’t go as they planned, they were all just grateful to have each other.
Thanksgiving is not just about the food.
1. Giving thanks can be healing.
Thanksgiving originally began as a day of giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. But as the years have gone by, Thanksgiving celebrations have become more individualistic, meaning something different to the individual. Everyone now has their own special and personal reason for celebrating!
Joyce Giruad sheds light on her why by stating:
“Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year because it reminds us to give thanks and to count our blessings. Suddenly, so many things become so little when we realize how blessed and lucky we are.”
I believe that this year more than ever, a time of thanksgiving would be extremely beneficial. We’ve all been through a lot this year and it can seem like there is nothing to be thankful for. But having a moment to simply reflect on the good of the year could be healing, not just to the structures of the world but to the hearts of individuals.
2. Thanksgiving is the rewind button we all need.
Have you ever watched a movie and rewinded back to the same scene over and over again because it made you feel good. This is what Thanksgiving feels like, it’s a mini rewind button. It is a day to rewind back to all your best bits, all your memorable moments & all the lessons you’ve learnt this year. It forces us to look back at the year from a lens of appreciation.
There is one thing TD Jakes (author, pastor and filmmaker) said that has really stuck with me this year. He said:
“Many times we get so wrapped up in achieving our goals that we miss the opportunity to stop and be thankful for the things we have achieved.”
A day dedicated to giving thanks gives us the chance to do just this. It’s the rewind button we all need but don’t often use.
But I have nothing to be thankful for?
If you are reading this thinking “I have nothing to be grateful for” or “Nothing special has happened to me this year”, this may put your mind at ease. Being grateful is not solely about the big things but it’s a collection of the small things! Everybody has something to be grateful for. Even the ability to read this article right now is something to be grateful for. It may seem small but it’s still a blessing.
I am thankful for….
I don’t think the UK will have a national holiday for Thanksgiving anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the symbolism behind it. If Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks, we can do that any day of the year, at any hour of the day. Below, I have listed a few things that I am thankful for, it’s a mixture of big and small things, because every good thing is worth celebrating.
I am thankful for:
- My family- for their support and love throughout my life.
- My friends – I can always count on them to be there when needed.
- My university experience so far – being able to finish second year during a pandemic was tough but I am grateful that I got through it.
- KeiSei Magazine – for giving me the opportunity to write articles such as this.
Go for it!
We may not have a national holiday for Thanksgiving but we do have things to be thankful for. If, like me, you’ve always wanted to celebrate Thanksgiving day, go for it. Write a list of things you are grateful for, eat with your family, create memories etc.Do it all, because the truth is that the world could benefit from a thanksgiving day everyday!