I know, I know. It’s a national holiday. A time to give thanks. A celebration of history, family, tradition, and other things I can’t think of at the moment. And I don’t dislike it at all—in fact, I have many lovely memories of Thanksgivings past.
But I’ve had a hectic few months, and I’m beat, and the main thing I’m thankful for this year is the chance to spend one day doing nothing. And that’s exactly what I’m doing for Thanksgiving. This year, it will be a festival of no. For example:
No cooking. My mother spent days shopping for the Thanksgiving feast. She started cooking on Monday and was still at it Thursday. She set a beautiful table lavishly arrayed with pies, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, marshmallowy yams, green beans, ambrosia salad, cranberry sauce and home-made biscuits. An hour later, she donned her hasmat suit and went to work on the clean-up. I love her for it—she always created beautiful holidays for our family. And I realize a lot of people (okay, a lot of women) still create these sumptuous meals for Thanksgiving. But me? I’m throwing a frozen vegan pizza in the oven.
No turkey. I know too much about what happens on turkey farms to take part in that grotesquery.
No visitors. I’ve always enjoyed getting together with family on the holidays, and, if I weren’t so tired, I’d be looking forward to it this year, too. Instead, I’m going for quiet, solitude, and the blessing of not having to talk to anyone all day.
No grading papers. This may seem like an odd thing to include. Unless you teach. Grading takes up hours and hours and hours of my time, and it is my least favorite part of my job. I enjoy guiding class discussions. I like giving an occasional lecture. I love working one-on-one with my students when I can. I do not like trying to decide how to rank my hardworking and eager students on a scale of “A” to “F”. Plus, it’s time consuming and exhausting. This term, I somehow ended up teaching four classes that all have significant writing components. I grade papers every day. But not on Thanksgiving.
No Black Friday. On the rare occasion when I get up at dawn, it’s to enjoy a quiet morning, watch the sun rise, get a head start on the day’s work, meditate, or take a walk, not to battle hundreds of others in a mass stampede for consumer goods. Perhaps I’m missing part of the American experience, but I just don’t get the appeal.
So, while others are going around the table saying what they’re thankful for, and consuming enough food to feed a small nation for a week, I’ll be luxuriating in three simple pleasures:
A glass of wine.
A fire in the fireplace.
A good book.
Bet I’ll feel a lot better than most folks, come Monday.
Causes Jill Jepson Supports
Humane Society of the United States, Defenders of Wildlife, Interational Society for the Protection of Burros and Mustangs, National Wildlife Federation,...