Growing up in Scotland, we of course, didn’t celebrate Thanksgiving. However, it wasn’t long after I moved to the U.S. that I realized what an important holiday it is to people here, and I can now understand why.
There’s no place like home!
It’s one of the few holidays that everyone wants to be “home” for. No matter where they are, how long the journey might be or how uncooperative the weather, there is a need to be with “your people”. It feels to me, that it’s a more important holiday to many people than Christmas (and Christmas is pretty darn important!). I’ve spent Thanksgiving in countless homes over the years, generously being embraced by friends and family happy to take in “just one or two more”, so I’ve seen a few different traditions along the way.
What are you thankful for?
Without a doubt, the tradition that unifies all my experiences is that of everyone taking turns around the dinner table to say what they are thankful for. Such a lovely thing to do!
Turning the tables.
However, last Thanksgiving day, I spent the entire day writing emails to people who I felt the need and desire to thank. People who had touched my life in such a significant way that a short card just wouldn’t do! Last Thanksgiving happened to fall on the anniversary of my first surgery (bi-lateral mastectomy and reconstruction, November 27th
, 2012, which was also my lovely dad’s birthday!) so it was a memorable date for me and that it fell on Thanksgiving day that year, it just seemed appropriate to spend my day thanking some of the people who helped me through that time.
A “proper” thank you!
Shortly before this, I had listened to a talk on “thanking”. What I loved about it was that it made me realize that it’s so important to be specific
when you write a thank you. If someone has made a huge impact on your life in some way, tell them! It’s not enough to simply write “thanks for everything”, “I couldn’t have done it without you”, or “thanks for being there”. If someone made that big of a contribution to your life, then they deserve to hear, in detail, exactly how. How they made you feel, specifically how they helped or encouraged you, how they changed your life for the better and how you think of them often because of all they did.
A new tradition.
I know you’re all very busy on this special day, but maybe take a little time and write a “proper” thank you to someone who you’ve never really thanked properly for something they’ve done to change your life. Imagine how special they will feel and how good you will feel for having done it.
A very BIG Thank you to you ALL for reading my post!