A Thanksgiving Letter from Jamie

(a beautiful Thanksgiving table)Greetings, friends,

We are so close to Thanksgiving now. Only one more sleep, as they say. It’s a time of reflection and a time of bittersweet joy as I gather my family around the table one last time before my son leaves on an extended journey.

Before I fully dive into holiday-making with my family, though, I just wanted to say a word to you about this season and holiday.

Thanksgiving is a family time. A time to enjoy each other’s company around a table stuffed with succulent turkey, roasted vegetables, and desserts celebrating the bounty of the season. It’s also a time to reflect on the things that matter — the hands and hearts around our table — with a spirit of gratitude.

Laurie and I are long time wives, mothers, and grandmothers, and we have seen many Thanksgivings come and go — both through our eyes and through the eyes of those we love. New friends, old friends, loved ones we will never see again and miss so greatly: these are the faces and these are memories of our Thanksgiving time.

We’ve also seen Thanksgiving change. Have you noticed?

Thanksgiving used to be held sacred as a time for family — one of the only holidays that wasn’t monetized by the greedy. That’s no longer so. Now, the American retail complex has found a way to commercialize it through making the whole weekend about sales and shopping and getting more and…not enough.

Thanksgiving is now no longer about giving love and gratitude. It’s about taking more, about buying more.

In light of this cultural shift, I’d like to ask you a question:

What if you were simply grateful for everything this Thanksgiving weekend?

What if you didn’t get swept away in all the “40% off sale” nonsense and simply decided to enjoy what you have? What if you decided to ignore all the brochures, emails, and commercials telling you the answer to your problems is to leave your family (physically or mentally) to buy more? What if, instead of going out to shop or madly scrolling through online sale pages, you stayed home and played with your kids?

This Thanksgiving, we challenge you to bloom where you are planted. Create a healing table in your own home, right where you are. No perfection or heroics necessary. Thanksgiving may have changed for the outside world, but you make the heart of the holiday in your own home. It’s a gift, a privilege and a responsibility.

A meal prepared with love, peace, and gratitude is where healing begins. Prepare it and bring it to the table. Spend time — real time — with those you love and will not have forever.

That is a real Thanksgiving. And that is better than anything you can buy.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.

Love,

Jamie Fiene