“Have something to bring to the table. It will make you more welcome.” – Randy Pausch
Dear readers (ye brave, ye few), I have a confession to make.
Thanksgiving is probably my LEAST favorite holiday. I can’t say I hate it anymore, but it’s my least favorite holiday.
Why is it my least favorite holiday?
Well, while I see the value in families that don’t often see one another, gathering for a meal, that’s never really been in the case in my family. I’ve lived in the same town my entire life.
At this point, I had been married less than a year and my then-husband didn’t have any idea why I disliked Thanksgiving so much. I told him it’s because I feel like I was just taking up a seat at the table, that I was almost always talked over, not listened to, and that’s the type of behavior from people who just don’t care. I know my family loves me, but sometimes the ones we love with take for granted the most.
Anyway at the time, he thought I was being oversensitive, and surely I’d be missed if I wasn’t there.
Feeling the need to make my point, early in the dinner, one of my parents had asked me a question. And, well, here’s how that conversation unfolded.
“So, J, how’s that rehearsal for that show going. What’s it about again?” someone dear to me asked.
“Oh! It’s going really well, but I’m driving myself crazy,” by this time, the person who had asked the question is already paying attention to someone else entirely and no longer listening to me at all, so I continue, “trying to write these 15 songs for the show. I have to sing 10 of them. And then a gigantic pink elephant walked into the room and sat on the couch. It had polka dots and everything.”
No one at the table laughed.
No one at the table was listening.
I looked over at my then-husband and his eyes were wide. Now he understood.
So what’s the greatest gift you can give someone this Thanksgiving? Be present with them. If you ask a question, wait to get the full answer. Remember that common courtesy isn’t so common anymore. You never know who’s had the same experience I had, and who’ll appreciate it.
Why do I not hate it anymore?
A few years back, I ended up having a low key Thanksgiving, with just me and one other person, dancing in the kitchen as we made a small dinner, watching different marathons on TV… Yeah – that’s my kind of Thanksgiving.
What is happening with me this year for Thanksgiving?
A long bike ride or a hike in the morning, followed by dinner and maybe a movie with my parents.
This year, I’m thankful for a low key Thanksgiving.