By Imani Williams
Out of respect for my Native American brothers and sisters I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving based on the traditional story line. It amazes me how as Americans we alter reality with made up stories that serve to obliterate our guilt and transgressions against entire groups of people.
A long time foe to frigid temperatures and backed up traffic, I forgo the ‘fun’ of attending the t-day parade in person. I prefer to watch from the comfort of my living room after I prepare breakfast for my teens. While they are old enough to do the honor themselves I maintain tradition on this day because of the tradeoff.
In my immediate family the tradeoff is that I don’t have to prepare any semblance of a holiday dinner. My children are a product of divorce and forever the challenge has been getting them to the homes of different relatives so that everyone would have some time with them.
In my early twenties, when they were younger it used to take a Franklin planner with extra tips to maneuver the day so that everyone was pleased. The girls would be so tired and stuffed from eating a little something from each house that they would literally fall out with their clothes on. Somewhere along the way and especially after my 20’s turned to 30, and now that 30 has gotten closer to 40, I’ve stopped trying to please the entire family, ex-in-laws included, and began to make one drop in the afternoon, after my girls and I had our time. If they went somewhere else I needed to know via phone call who they were with and what time they would be returned home. If you didn’t know please believe that as a rule, I believe in working smarter not harder.
At 15 and 17, they want to do their own thing with their friends. So after breaking bread with relatives someone will be asked to drive them to the movies so they can hang out with friends. Cool.
My ideal Thanksgiving afternoon is volunteering at a local shelter serving dinner to those less fortunate, making tracks back home to watch a couple of good rentals, making phone calls to people I have neglected because everyone is under some sort of deadline all the time, and making sure there is something prepared with love for folk who drop by.
My affirmation is that we honor Creator by telling those whom we love that they are special, and that we are thankful to have them in our lives. Each day that we are blessed to wake up we have a chance to offer the olive branch of forgiveness and to be the best that we can be. Happy Thanksgiving.
Peace, Love, and Light