06 October 2010 Categories: Gerry's Corner

     This is a blog that I posted last Fall and thought that it was worth posting again

       This long weekend and our last for the year are fast approaching. Thanksgiving has many and different meanings depending on our cultures and upbringings. For some it is family time or a quiet time at home. For others it is the last time to go to the cottage then close it up for the season. For students it means the first visit home since the start of school and the last visit till the Christmas break. Others visit family for the last time till spring because winter will deter any further travelling. In other cases it is to say goodbye to the snowbirds. Others will toil in the backyard raking the leaves and storing the lawn chairs till warmer weather returns. In some cases it will be time to test the snow blower and stock up on salt and a new snow shovel.

       Thanksgiving has 2 purposes for me. The first is like many other people, having family come over for a great gathering and of course a good pig out. My parents did not celebrate Thanksgiving as I do now. My parents were farmers and Thanksgiving was just another weekday to catch up on harvesting crops, mending the barn for the animals and storing the winter food for these same animals. We did have a big meal on Sunday after a longer than usual Church ceremony in the morning. When my children were young, I initiated, what is now known as a tradition, to invite family and close friends for a get together, in other words a good party with lots of good food and laughter. As my daughters grew older, the family grew as well, first boyfriends then husbands then grandkids. This Thanksgiving is no different. My daughters will all be over with the grandkids and my better half will have her kids over but with no grandkids (yet). Her parents will be over as well while my parents are no longer with us unfortunately. Usually Thanksgiving is not limited to just one day but rather for some family members it is a whole weekend affair. It is a time that I appreciate and relish and have been known to get emotional about. Yes we also do take a few minutes to give thanks for everything we have.

       The second purpose of Thanksgiving for me personally is a time to reflect on the year and prepare for a new year. Yes, I know New Year is suppose to be for that but for decades I start reflecting on Thanksgiving weekend. Maybe it has been influenced by the changing season from hot summer to colorful fall and sometimes the first snowfall. From this weekend till Christmas I start reflecting on what I accomplished during the year. I reflect on everything including what I wanted to do and what I had to do and even the weather. It permits me to take inventory of whom I am and where I am in life. It also permits me to start thinking about any changes for the New Year. It is part of my personal development time, almost like preparing for a job performance evaluation. I think this process has permitted me over the years to take a look back and make whatever changes I need to make or want to make in the near future. I believe this has allowed me to be well grounded and in control of my own destiny. I also believe it has helped me to deal with difficult emotional issues. The funny thing is this process is so part of me now, I do it like clockwork with minimal effort. I find it satisfies me and gives me contentment.

        Thanksgiving may have many meanings to many people but for me this is my meaning and purpose of Thanksgiving.