Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thanksgiving and The Real

Little Wren gets it.

When a Christmas commercial comes on the TV, she begins yelling urgently, "Change it, change it, change it!"  Then she puts her hands on her hips, all righteous indignation, and demands of the TV, "What about Thanksgiving???  Let us have Thanksgiving!"


I love Thanksgiving.  It's just so much more real than Christmas, you know?  It's forgetting the rolls, and fretting about the frozen turkey, and balancing the holiness of pausing with family and friends to express gratitude and celebrate abundance ... with The Big Football game.

Well, that's how I grew up.

You can see this mix of reality and nostalgia in some Christmas songs, some Christmas movies ... but it's part and parcel of every Thanksgiving movie.  "Home for the Holidays," "Pieces of April," and the ultimate Thanksgiving show, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

There's no magical handwaving that results in a puny tree being transformed to a lush one here. Instead, it's someone who doesn't know how to cook making a feast of toast, pretzels, popcorn, jelly beans, and ice cream sundaes, and serving it on a ping-pong table for a bunch of ingrates who weren't invited in the first place. 

Thanksgiving is about all our great intentions.  That sometimes go terribly wrong.

Thanksgiving isn't about miracles.  Thanksgiving is about the real.  And being thankful for it, in all it's broken messy glory.  And loving each other, in all our broken messy glory.
Mr. Larson: Dear Lord, we realize that lately everything’s changing too fast. And all sorts of things are always the same — even things we hated, like shoveling the turkey and stuffing the snow and going through the same crap year in and year out ...

Mrs. Larson: The food is getting cold.

Mr. Larson: As I was saying, dear Lord, before my wife interrupted me. Give me those old-fashioned pain-in-the-ass traditions like Thanksgiving, which really mean something to us, even though goddamit, we couldn’t tell you what it is ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love it!!! Great movie clip!
Thanks for a bit of humor as I prepare my post Thanksgiving Sunday lay led service. Whatever the attendance, it'll be my pleasure to lead it! Gratitude everyday, not just once a year.