This would appear to be some incredibly poor planning.
There is no holiday I love more.
The spirit of gratitude.
You, too, Dear Reader?
You are days away from going to great effort to gather around an abundant table of food with your family.
You might even spend a lot of money and time to get there.
A lovely thought.
This year, at least.
Who was the genius that scheduled Thanksgiving for the same month as the most divisive election of our lives?
Is it possible you, too, have been kind of dreading Thanksgiving this year?
Not because of the what.
Simple because of the Who.
It doesn’t matter whom you voted for Nov. 8, I promise you there will be people around that table that didn’t check the same box.
Sure, everyone will start with their best behavior over holiday bacon appetizers and roasted rosemary cashews, but throw back a little wine and tryptophan from the turkey —
And lips are going to get loose.
Things will be said.
You know you won’t get to pumpkin pie before Uncle Murray starts gloating about the Trump victory among a family of liberals.
Try not choking on pecan pie as Cousin Ryan embraces his inner-hippie making eyes roll among his conservative relatives.
It’s not like family gatherings haven’t been causing indigestion since cavemen roasted wooly mammoth legs over the fire pit.
I’ve been known to shake up my own family’s holiday gatherings with the guests I’ve brought along.
It’s just this year.
How are going to break bread together without needing to swig Pepto-Bismol to endure each other’s company?
There’s always Canada.
Not moving there.
Simply borrowing their holiday calendar would’ve been brilliant.
Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving the second Monday in October.
Which means they were done with their family gatherings October 10th this year.
Lacking an invite from distant cousins in Toronto, I’ve come up with my Small-Big Thanksgiving Game Plan.
First, I’m going small.
That’s where I will focus.
Grandpa Mitchell’s bloviating can’t penetrate if I’m laser focused on each nourishing bite on my plate.
Food to put in my belly.
My family’s belly.
Each nibble reminding me not everyone has that this year.
Then, I’m going big.
Expanding my vision.
Remembering that actually, no, family is not everything.
Biological family anyway.
There are some in my DNA chain to be thankful for.
To kick myself that I don’t see them more often.
Others, well, can you pass the mashed potatoes, please?
So I will expand my Thanksgiving vision,
Thursday afternoon isn’t the only time to gather.
To give thanks.
To get together with friends, my family by choice.
Whose company can be easier to swallow.
As we try to figure out where, how, we go from here.
To remember all this great country offers us.
What more can I give?
Come to think of it, it’s possible Thanksgiving couldn’t come at a better time.