Growing up, I don’t remember having any kind of intention for Thanksgiving, unless it was simply to avoid having people comment on my weight or what went on my plate. Oh, some years I might tell myself I was going to “be good” and not eat very much, but I don’t think that happened very often. I might not eat much in front of others, but I could find ways to sneak bits of turkey, a roll, some pie or cookies.
These days, though, I try to be more intentional and deliberate about Thanksgiving, a holiday that seems dedicated to stuffing ourselves as well as the turkey. It really is all about the food – for instance, when watching a Thanksgiving show on the Food Network, they did a poll to see what people’s favorite part about Thanksgiving was, and “food” won hands down.
Of course, I do like the food, and I’m looking forward to trying a new recipe for crepes with pumpkin filling (I do Thanksgiving breakfast with my brother’s family and a few others). But as the Food Network also reminded me, food is “just food until it’s shared”.
“just food until it’s shared”
That reminds me that I don’t want my intention to be about what I should eat, or specific quantities, or even about the food at all. Rather, it’s about how I want to feel, and what I want my experience to be like. With that in mind, these are my intentions:
To eat with the goal of feeling good when I’m done – I do not want to slip into a food coma.
To truly appreciate the food, and all the effort that went into getting it to the table.
To enjoy spending time with my family, and to be grateful that we have not been divided by politics.
To play with my younger nephew and listen attentively to my older nephew.
To appreciate the abundance of all I have, and not take it all for granted.
Even thinking about it now, I feel how different this is than going in with a plan to eat lots of food, or to have that be the focus. It helps me remember what I want the holiday to be about, and I know it will be all the more enjoyable because of that.