Elsie has prepared a Thanksgiving meal for a dozen ungrateful family members for years. It’s her tradition. She begins Thanksgiving Eve, preparing green bean casseroles, chopping vegetables, baking pies, and continues all the next day ensuring that everyone has enough food in their bellies to nap in the afternoon as she washes a pyramid of dishes large enough to hide a sarcophagus.
Sometimes, she hears that the rolls are pretty good, but usually she hears that last year’s stuffing was better. Her husband, Abe, is applauded for not cutting his hand while carving the turkey.
Robert has eaten a Swanson’s turkey dinner alone on in front of the TV for the last six Thanksgivings. One year, he almost went to Cracker Barrel, but decided his presence would make others sad. His kids spend the real holidays at their real house, and he tries to satisfy himself with the leftovers of life. He knows that people are only being polite and aren’t really listening for a response when they ask “sure you don’t want to come?”
This year, both are trading in their old holiday traditions for the new enlightened uglYcOUsin observance of Thankstaking.
Rather than sacrifice themselves for others, they will give others the opportunity to thank them. Their unappreciated suffering ceases this year. If is better to give than receive, it is an act of kindness to allow others to give.
Elsie and Robert have notified their families that they are available for words of thanks and acts of appreciation all day. “You give thanks, and I will take it,” each says on their new holiday cards. On the front of the cards the Great Turkey of Thankstaking rises from the plate and says “No longer will you eat me. Now I eat you.”