THE POINT OF THE HOLIDAY IS GRATITUDE – Marilyn Armstrong

I know that theoretically “Thanksgiving” is about gratitude. Personally, I think it’s much more about overeating than gratitude, but call me skeptical. At age 72, I’ve can remember probably 50 to 60 Thanksgiving dinners and while none of them were particularly unpleasant or angry, (no hostile relatives and no arguments allowed), none of them celebrated anything except food and sometimes, getting to see people you only saw once or twice a year during holidays.


It’s really not my favorite holiday. Firstly, I’m not fond of turkey. The small ones taste better, but are hard to find unfrozen. The big ones take so long to cook, by the time they are done they taste like stuffed dust. So we usually have something else.

It used to be ham, but recently it has been lamb. This year, we aren’t sure. Owen says if they don’t have the right size piece of lamb, he’ll get some kind of beef roast. Garry pointed out that neither of us eats very much, so try not to get into a bankruptcy level of food. (NOTE: It’s lamb!)


We bought a couple of pies — a Dutch apple and a Strawberry-Rhubarb, plus little rolls that need to be baked and a gallon of apple cider. I’m thinking of getting some apples and celery and adding all my walnuts with a bit of sour cream and mayonnaise. Surprise the crowd with something different.

It’s not much of a crowd, but it’s the whole family.

Moving on to music, the hymn du jour is “We Gather Together.” Why do I like the song? Well, the words of the hymn were changed and it became my High School’s “song.” It always made me laugh every time I was supposed to be singing the hymn. Somehow, my high school’s song popped up.

So I’m not particularly sentimental about the holiday. It’s hard for me to celebrate eating when I eat so little, but it is a chance to actually get everyone together on the same day, same time, same station.


And I still say that anyone who wants to work on any holiday should feel okay about it. Not everyone has a family with whom to celebrate — or a family with whom they want to celebrate. For many people, it’s an opportunity to make a little extra money and in a many families, overtime is a big deal.

Stop warning me how I should care more about the holiday. I’m glad there IS a holiday, but as far as how one celebrates? I’m in favor of complete freedom. Complete personal freedom. I really believe in it. And frankly, as a non-Christian? I’m extremely tired of being ordered around by Christians who believe they own the road to god. Until God tells me him or herself, it’s just someone else’s opinion.

20 thoughts on “THE POINT OF THE HOLIDAY IS GRATITUDE – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. We attended a Vegan potluck brunch- met new people, chowed down on really delicious, healthy food, had good conversations, and after 2 1/2 hours left, feeling better than many years I spent with family that I was forced to be with, and food I didn’t want to eat. Love the freedom!!

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  2. I think that holidays, Christmas, Easter and in your case Thanksgiving should be enjoyed any way that suits. If you don’ t care for turkey why buy one? It will only get wasted. I don’t think it’s for other people to say how you celebrate a holiday.
    I’m always fascinated by the tradition of multiple pies. Americans really like pie, don’t they? I would not know what to choose if there were more than two on offer.
    Anyway, I hope you all had a really enjoyable day.

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    • Well, THIS is the first year everyone was too full for pie! We gave away the apple pie and kept the strawberry rhubarb, but I’m betting we don’t eat it. It’s too sweet. My Waldorf salad went over very well, but no one ate any potatoes, so we have a lot of leftover baked potatoes. Not sure what to do with them, but i’ll figure something out. There was a lot of lamb left and it was just a five-pound roast. We had at least 2 pounds left, even after the dogs got their share.

      The good news? It’s going to be lamb curry tomorrow night. I like curry better than roast.

      I don’t understand why people get so frazzled about holidays either. Unless you are hosting a LOT of people — which I would count as “more than 12” for a sit-down dinner — it’s not a big deal. We don’t eat turkey, although when we bought fresh, unfrozen turkey, that was not bad … except even the smallest bird was too big for us.

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      • I think the older we get, the less frazzled we are. At least, that’s how it is with me. I’ve learned, despite initial angst/trepdidation, to find alternatives for things like :

        — sending out MYRIAD snail mail Christmas cards. Used to be a family tradition w/ Mom staying up late Christmas Eve to finish off cards to every Tom, Dick, Harry & Scrooge. This year, I said ENOUGH. One of the factors — most families members I used to send cards to have passed on. The others don’t send cards. Guess I’ll be on the e-Card wagon.

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