The Act of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving marks the official start of the holiday season in the U.S. Today, millions of Americans will gather with family and friends to partake in bird and booze, and enjoy the time-honored tradition of enduring awkward conversations and pause-worthy moments all in the name of food. But is Thanksgiving deeper than that? Does it hold more weight? Those are some the questions Toni and I tossed around when brainstorming ways to acknowledge the holiday. We decided to interview each other to see where we stood.

Monté: Beyond menu options and social interaction, I’ve long been fascinated by the concept of thanksgiving. By definition, thanksgiving (yes, little ‘t’ – the act, not the holiday) is “giving thanks; grateful acknowledgement of benefits or favors, especially to God.” But what is it to show “grateful acknowledgement of benefits or favors?” That’s a question I ask myself often.

Toni: For me, Thanksgiving has always been more of a family gathering than the celebration of a holiday. Much like we said on the “Juneteenth” episode of the show when we talked about July 4th, I’ve found it increasingly difficult over the years to enjoy holidays whose true meaning don’t align with my beliefs.

Monté: Agreed. That’s what I referenced the act of thanksgiving and paid the holiday in dust mites.

Toni: Don’t get me wrong, I do plan on indulging in a serving of all the sides – herbivore, here! – it won’t be in honor of the holiday. It’ll be an ode to the good times our family has had over the years.

Monté: And that’s one of the great things about growing up and deciding what works for you – creating your own customs.

Toni: Yeah, like you said, it’s about giving thanks and grateful acknowledgement.

Monté: Truthfully, it’s become a central aspect of my life in recent years. I find myself questioning if I’m showing proper acknowledgement and gratitude for my gifts, people in my life and things I have. And not only when the calendar calls for it, but at all times.

Toni: Same here. I will remain thankful and grateful to God and the Universe for the many blessings, amazing people, endless optimal experiences that I’ve had this year.

Monté: I mean, can we talk about it?!

Toni: We can! This year I am grateful for the love and support I’ve received in the wake of my accident. You know who you are, I hope you know I am grateful to you and I thank God for you every day.

Monté: So, as I’m enjoying my share of bird and booze – I would say football, but it doesn’t begin with a ‘b’ AND I’m steadfast in my NFL boycott. insert fist emoji – I’ll take a few moments to thank the Creator and Universe for the endless benefits and favors I’ve received.

Toni: Amen. So, if all hearts and minds are clear…

Monté: Hey! That’s my line.

What do you do to show gratitude? Is Thanksgiving just a holiday for family and food, or does it hold a greater meaning to you?

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