Gobble! Gobble! Gobble!

By Ryan McLaughlin
November 20, 2013

Gathered around the table, the smell of turkey being prepared fills the house. For many lucky enough to engage in this reality, it’s a time to appreciate what we have.

Back in New Jersey, nestled on a quiet street away from any major roads, sits the house I grew up in; my home. This is where Thanksgiving happens.

As a child, Thanksgiving always seemed to be all about pilgrims and Christopher Columbus. Years went by and the “thanks” we were supposed to actually be giving was redefined.

Fortunate enough to grow up having a majority of my immediate and extended family at every Thanksgiving dinner, love is felt but not so much appreciated until I was older.

Having became used to my relatives being there, the times they weren’t able to make it forged an appreciation I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

A family can come in all shapes and sizes. Since this is the case, a multitude of different traditions is explored by these varieties.

My family sets up two different tables because there are so many of us. Everyone helps out setting things up and by the time everything is settled, a growing ache of hunger is emerging.

Food seems to be such a high point of Thanksgiving. Many people don’t slow themselves down enough to take the time to enjoy the presence of whom they share the food with.

Without intentionally trying to sound like a pessimist, those people sitting across the table from you… won’t always be there.

They just won’t.

Engage in conversation with them and ask them how they have been. Listen to the stories they share. If you don’t, those stories may be lost.

Sometimes it takes losing something to appreciate it and there are always people less fortunate out there. If you don’t make a conscious effort to engage with your family you may get lost in the festivities and wind up falling victim to the comfortable couch in your living room.

Disregarding the whole family aspect for a moment, this holiday should be used as a time to unwind yourself as well. Catching up on some much-needed rest can make all the difference and send you back to work or school in a blaze of glory.

Although Thanksgiving break may be short lived, make the most of it. I’ll be making the most of mine, sitting in front of a cozy fire after a big dinner fighting off my turkey coma.

Although people celebrate Thanksgiving in different forms or fashions, coming together and appreciating what we have seems to be the point of it all.

Ryan McLaughlin

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