Thanksgiving Anticipation

Ronit Sherwin

Ronit Sherwin

I truly look forward to Thanksgiving and enjoy it for many reasons. Most significantly, it is not a Jewish holiday. In a family like mine, with varied religious practices, Thanksgiving is an easy (and the only) holiday for all of us to get behind. Thanksgiving is fairly innocuous and requires nothing more than a gathering of family and friends and a ridiculous amount of food. I look forward to the rare opportunity to spend time with all of my siblings and nephews, as well as my aunts, uncles and cousins. It is loud, chaotic and typically contains some dramatic elements. And I love all food pumpkin, so what’s not to like!

There is also the anticipation of stress. Airport travel is no longer as enjoyable as it used to be, especially with two babies in tow. In addition, travel to Cleveland, Ohio in late November could easily involve cold and snow. Therefore, packing is not light and simple, but requires sweaters and boots. Truth be told, these inconveniences are just that – inconvenient, and pale in comparison to the anticipation of being with family, although the above stated “dramatic elements” add some stress too. But stress comes along naturally with family, so that is to be expected.

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I have to admit that I also look forward to Thanksgiving because it literally shifts the mood of our society to the “holiday spirit” the very next day. While I am deeply disturbed by the material focus of the Christmas season, I rather enjoy some of the holiday elements. I have to admit that certain Christmas songs entice me to sing-a-long. And as I have matured, I don’t even mind the “Happy Holidays” greetings typically received at the grocery check-out. I even find the festive Starbucks cups to be a nice change for a few months. All in all, I try to embrace and receive the genuine cheer of those who truly celebrate the holidays for what they are intended to be.

Life is precious. If there is an opportunity to be with family, albeit one built around a roasted turkey, I will take it. And while I do not celebrate the holiday season that begins with a retail fiesta at midnight following Turkey Day, I don’t mind it. Perhaps I am just more tired than I used to be as a righteous youth who spent energy concocting the perfect response to a “Merry Christmas” greeting. But really, why not have some more “merry” in our everyday lives. In the meantime, I plan to enjoy my precious family time and indulge in more than one helping of pumpkin pie – vegetarians can do that.