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Nov 21 2012

How Do You Teach Thanksgiving to Kids?

By at 3:12 pm

I can remember as a teenager sitting around the Thanksgiving table and being asked to say what I was grateful for.

I rolled my eyes in protest of such a trivial exercise and rattled off a list of things I thought I was supposed to be grateful for: my family, my health, food, and shelter. And then I waited for my brothers to spout off things like farting and Nintendo before we could eat. At that time in my life I was selfish and entitled. Nothing was ever enough, teenage angst prevailed, and happiness always felt just out of reach.

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Nov 26 2010

Friday Night: Thanksgiving Shabbat

By at 8:46 am

I'll be enjoying at least two of these this year.

My family rarely celebrates Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving anymore.

It all started when my dad was in his first few years as a doctor and could never have the day off. We’d celebrate on Friday. But then we had about a 20 year run of Thanksgiving on Thursday, until I met my husband and felt the pull of being with his family on the holiday too.

So, we started doing Thanksgiving on Friday again. In fact, my brother- and sister-in-law are celebrating with her family on Thursday, we’re celebrating with my family on Friday, and we’re celebrating with my husband’s family on Saturday. Try to say that three times fast.

Beyond the fact that I actually don’t really like turkey, I kind of love having lots of Thanksgiving. Of course it’s somewhat fraught with drama (what’s Aunt Helen going to knock over this year?) but it’s also just a great time. You get to see everyone. My daughter gets to play with her cousins. And my husband’s family, I hear, is even planning on having a karaoke party between the meal and dessert. It’s a day (or two, or three) filled with family and love and plenty of food.

As such, I love that we’re celebrating on Shabbat this year. Shabbat’s supposed to be all about rest, joy, and holiness. And though I wouldn’t call two 20-person meals restful necessarily, to me there’s not much more holy or joyful than family, in all its crazy wonder.

So this week, instead of Shabbat Shalom, I wish you a Shabbat Sh…anksgiving.

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