“If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your family.”

Ram Dass

The holiday season officially kicks off today with Thanksgiving. For many people, their favorite holiday and time of the year centers on Christmas, but for me, now that I’m an adult, it’s Thanksgiving all the way.

Christmas is great, don’t get me wrong – I love the colors, decorations and overall holiday cheer; however, Thanksgiving is the best parts of a holiday minus most of the headaches of a holiday. Basically, you’ve got:

  • Good Food
  • Good Beverages
  • Good Company (hopefully)
  • Good Conversation (as long as you avoid politics)

What you get to avoid? The rampant, baked in commercialism of Christmas that pressures you to buy gifts for everyone in a culture that now largely indulges itself year-round with the click of a button and free shipping. Take a step back and ask yourself: do they really need more stuff? Do you?

Thanksgiving, in contrast, lets you focus on what really matters the most: family and friends. However you celebrate it – whether it’s a massive Martha Stewart turkey feast or going out to a chain restaurant that’s open with your roommate after just having moved into your new apartment (not like I’m speaking from experience…), the point is connection. The point is people.

Today it’s taken for granted that Halloween marketing starts right after school starts, and then quickly transforms to vomit up Christmas on every shelf. As my mother-in-law used to say: “No one respects Thanksgiving!”

So, today, I challenge you to stop, take a breath, and really enjoy the moment. Before we get pulled into the shopping frenzy, the holiday parties, the Christmas decorating, really take a moment to enjoy the day and the people you’re with.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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