In ten days, just about everyone in the United States will celebrate the best holiday of the year: Thanksgiving. I’m hoping that this year, you and your family will help me start a new holiday tradition.
At its best, this is a holiday about gratitude, about family and about possibility. It brings people together to not only celebrate the end of the harvest, but to look one in another in the eye and share something magical.
In a digital age, one where humanity has been corrupted by commerce at every turn, there are very few Thanksgiving piñatas stuffed with coins, no huge market in Thanksgiving wrapping paper, no rush to the stores. We mostly save that for the next day, when the retail-industrial establishment kicks into high gear.
I’m delighted to point you to the Thanksgiving Reader . The file you'll find there is free, it’s printable, it’s sharable and it might give us something universal and personal to do this Thanksgiving.
The idea is simple: At your Thanksgiving celebration (and yes, it’s okay to use it outside the US!), consider going around the table and having each person read a section aloud.
During these ten or fifteen minutes, millions of people will all be reading the same words, thinking about the same issues, connecting with each other over the essence of what we celebrate. After all the travel and the cooking and the hassle, for these ten or fifteen minutes, perhaps we can all breathe the same air and think hard about what we’re thankful for.
It’s free to download and share. I hope you’ll let some people in your life know about it and incorporate it in your celebration this year. There’s no commercial element involved—after all, it’s Thanksgiving.
Thank you for everything you do, and for the difference you make to your family and the people who care about you.
[and for international readers, in troubled times…]
Wherever you are, you could celebrate Thanksgiving today. Or any day.
Not the Thanksgiving of a bountiful Massachusetts harvest before the long winter, the holiday of pilgrims and pie. That's a holiday of scarcity averted. I'm imagining something else…
A modern Thanksgiving would celebrate two things:
The people in our lives who give us the support and love we need to make a difference, and…
The opportunity to build something bigger than ourselves, something worth contributing to. The ability to make connections, to lend a hand, to invent and create.
There are more of both now than there have ever been before. For me, for you, for just about all of us. Thank you.
[Backup download in case the other one has too much traffic: Download The Thanksgiving Reader]