I’m extremely thankful for food and shelter and my family (in small doses). With the effects of the recent hurricane still taking its toll on many, it’s hard not to look around at what we have and feel grateful that, even though we don’t have extra money for luxuries, we can clothe our family and be warm on a cold night. And I’m all for sitting around a table and acknowledging those things genuinely and frequently. As a mother of one, I strive to teach my daughter about being grateful for all that we have each and every day.

But personally, I have long thought of the tradition of Thanksgiving as being a bit, well, ass-backwards. Though I continue to celebrate it, as my family always gathers at this time, I do feel that any other day of the year (when we aren’t being told to say “thank you” by a day on the calendar) might be slightly more appropriate to meaningfully give thanks. This year, like all the others, I’ll stuff my face with turkey and cranberry sauce and tell those around me that I truly appreciate them. And I’ll mean it! But that doesn’t change the fact that the holiday itself is kind of absurd. Ironically enough, the forced gratitude that we practice on the third Thursday in November seems to bring to the surface a number of things I really am not thankful for this Thanksgiving.

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