I had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday. I went to my mother's apartment for dinner and thoroughly enjoyed myself. She managed to find a huge twenty-five pound frozen bird at the grocery store two weeks ago. It just barely fit into the roasting pan, but I will remember it as one of the best turkeys I have ever had. Sadly, even if it is just my mother and I for Thanksgiving, our leftovers never really last very long as they are so delicious. Even as we speak, our turkey is already half gone.
Since my parents have separated since August, I am still getting used to not having any animals around. My dog and my three cats have gone to live with one of my aunts since my father has become violently mentally ill and my mother cannot have pets in her apartment. Part of the fun of visiting my parents was petting a large fluffy dog underneath the table as he was asking for handouts. I will hopefully see Joey and the rest of my pets tomorrow.
Anyway, Thanksgiving is traditionally held up as an example of "giving thanks" for our lives and things that we are grateful to have. Although Thanksgiving is thought to be a purely secular holiday, it contains a religious element for many people as well. Prayers are often sent to various gods, thanking them for successes or giving people the opportunity learn from failures as people reflect on the end of the year.
In retrospect, Thanksgiving should also be about enjoying yourself. Late October and November are typically the most drab and depressing times of the year where I live. The leaves have all fallen off of the trees and the grass is withered and brown. The air gets cold and usually brings freezing rain with the chilly temperatures. We can all use a holiday like Thanksgiving to cheer us up with family and friends before the onset of winter.