— Juliette Giannesini (@Xiaozhuli) October 6, 2016
Of all the holidays I adopted in Canada, Thanksgiving is probably the one I like best. Fall is a gorgeous season in Ontario and the weather is usually very nice at the time of the year. The holiday is just before Mark’s and Feng’s birthdays, so we spend a week celebrating stuff. Besides, unlike Halloween or Boxing Day, Thanksgiving is not hugely commercial. Sure, supermarket aisles feature all the fixings you need for your Thanksgiving dinner, but you’re not expected to decorate your front lawn with fake glow-in-the-dark turkeys and you aren’t pressured into buying seasonal gifts, clothing or accessories. It’s a nice change, compared to Halloween, Christmas or even Easter.
Technically, Thanksgiving is all about a large family gathering around a meal. We miss the main ingredient—a large family to help us eat an entire turkey—so there is little pressure for us to celebrate. I never learned the fine art of stuffing a turkey and I can live with that. We do Thanksgiving our way.
Last Friday, the weather was gorgeous and I went hunting for “Thanksgiving mood” snapshots. It was harder than it seemed because Halloween already took over the city—there are more giant pumpkins around than signs of celebration of the harvest and other blessings of the past year. Eventually, I went straight to the source: the Experimental Farm where, indeed, fields were being harvested, and the supermarket that featured various Thanksgiving dinner ingredients—turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, sweet corn, various kinds of squashes and pumpkin pie. Phew. Saved.
Is it me or someone is being a dick? pic.twitter.com/bi0v0KZhbD
— Juliette Giannesini (@Xiaozhuli) September 27, 2016
Meanwhile, the long walk with my camera allowed me to think about what I was thankful for.
When I look at the big picture, I’m thankful for life in general. Life is surprising, the ups and downs are never boring and I love going through various experiences, good and meh, as long as I can feel something—excitement, love, anger, passion, enthusiasm, contentment, restlessness or joy. We are complex beings, completely illogical at times but deeply fascinating. I’m glad to be one of those.
I’m grateful for the fact that my destiny is not written for me. I’m drafting it and I love it, even when the odd typo creeps in.
I’m grateful for my family. I had an awesome childhood and I think my parents did a great job.
I’m grateful for my friends, who are kind and inspiring.
I’m grateful for you who take the time to read the words I type.
Thank you all. I’ll be back to my cynical self right after the holiday.