For me, Thanksgiving is about gratitude and welcome. It's about being present with people you love, or showing love to people you don't know very well. It's sharing food with family, playing games or watching movies, or going for a long walk or hike. Whatever it is you enjoy doing together. It's about sharing a meal with people who have no family, creating a community where you are. It's about reaching out, gathering in, and being thankful. And to me, Thanksgiving is about finding some inner rest -- embracing a season in which nature pauses and just takes a break after a season of working really hard.
It's a potluck lunch with people whose family live scattered across the country, each person bringing their favorite family dish and then getting to enjoy other families' traditions as you share your own.
It's grilling bratwurst on a balmy day at the beach, when it's just you and a couple of other friends. It's not the number, it's the company.
It's 25 people packed around tables spread in the backyard -- being included in a big family gathering because your family lives far away.
It's aunts, uncles, cousins, and a foreign exchange student from Switzerland. Pie, card games, and some low-key football outside.
It's all-day games, movie marathons, and music.
It's meeting someone the week before who has no Thanksgiving plans, and inviting them to your home.
It's sharing, giving, and being grateful. Celebrating sometimes, and sometimes just trying to find any reason to give thanks. It's remembering those who aren't there, and sometimes being a little sad.
Whatever form your Thanksgiving takes, may you find what you need, give what you can, and enjoy it!