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An Intentional Thanksgiving

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.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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