Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

Today is Thanksgiving in the United States. Many ex-pats also celebrate it as do other people around the world. Like the toy shopping rush at Christmas the American Thanksgiving has slowly become a global tradition. So I want to wish all my friends who celebrate it "Happy Thanksgiving." 

However I also ask that you take a moment at your table and think about the full history of the holiday as well as the impact on that the arrival of the settlers had - not only on the development of what would become the USA but also on the native Americans who were here and how their history and lives were changed. 

For every action there is always a reaction. Let us all prepare to start 2013 and move forward being more aware of that.Let us learn from history and make this planet a better place. Doing so can be a small ting as simple as starting to recycle or compost. (Did you know that many coffee shops will give you their used grounds for your compost pile?) It can be a bigger thing - such as supporting and working towards peace or helping those less fortunate than you or volunteering. The point is to just do something. It's more than just "teaching the children" but also about learning from them and their innocence as well.

So - are you celebrating Thanksgiving? The other Thanksgiving "tradition" is not as much fun. This is the busiest day of the year for hospital Emergency Rooms as people arrive from having heart attacks. Let's try and not celebrate that tradition.

Some simple rules and things to remember - a/k/a the 10 Commandments of Thanksgiving:

1. Thou shalt enjoy the food but celebrate the people you are with.
2. Thou sh
alt eat in moderation. Have a little bit of everything you like instead of a lot.
3. Thou shalt remember that this meal has a lot of high fat content from the appetizers and eggnog to the final bit of dessert with the fresh whipped cream.
4. Thou shalt leave that "just one more bite" where it belongs - on the plate - NOT in your belly. When you are full - that's it - you are full so stop eating.
5. Thou shalt remember that it is a holiday usually celebrated with a lot of family and friends. That inherently means higher stress levels. Avoid those arguments and political debates as much as possible.
6. Thou shalt remember that Black Friday is a marketing ploy and not an Olympic sporting event in which you have to participate. Stores are counting on the leftover food high to get you to go more into debt.
7. Thou shalt remember that leftovers can indeed be frozen for a couple of months so you have no need to eat turkey for the next 10 days.
8. Thou shalt not fast until the Thanksgiving meal. It is healthier to eat a small to medium breakfast and then not eat as much food at the feast.
9. Thou shalt take a walk or do some other form of MODERATE exercise before or after your meal. Do not overdo it - especially after the meal as you could end up in the E.R. as the body tries to figure out what to do.
10. Thou shalt, despite all these caveats, enjoy the day and the people you are sharing it with and reflect upon all you do have and the history behind the holiday. Then figure out what you can do to make the world a better place.