Earlier this week, Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics made waves with an off-color Thanksgiving take. After his team had lost to the New York Knicks, dropping them to 9-9 in a season where they are expected to contend for an NBA championship, Irving was overflowing with frustration in his post-game interviews. He was about to leave when a reporter wished him a Happy Thanksgiving, Irving retorted, “F*** Thanksgiving.” It should be noted that Irving is a Native American descendant (unlike Elizabeth Warren and her 1/1024thpercentage… oops, did I say that out loud?). His mother is part Native American.
It is very understandable for people of Native American heritage to “feel some kind of way” about Thanksgiving, given the true nature of the European settlement of this continent by essentially wiping out those that were already here. And there is certainly reason to question the teachings of Thanksgiving that have been passed down through historical writings of the conquering groups – it probably wasn’t anywhere near as rosy as it was written, which is the case with all conquests throughout history. So I’m not mad at Kyrie Irving at all – he has a right to feel the way he does about the holiday, and the profanity was nothing more than an elite athlete expressing extreme frustration at things not going the way he or his team had hoped. He also apologized the next day.
There are numerous things that humans have done or are doing that are questionable. Thanksgiving is far from the only occasion that is celebrated today that has roots in questionable or downright terrible actions or events, or has strayed from the original meaning. (Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Independence Day leap immediately to mind.) No sin in owning up to that. But I believe just because we have something twisted is no reason not to celebrate or honor something or someone. You simply acknowledge the prior and/or current errors and proceed with something that is positive and builds people up. Here are 3 ways you can use this holiday, the next one, or all of them to replace the bad things with good ones:
Serve people. There is never a shortage of people that need a helping hand. Even though there’s just 2 of us, I decided to go all-out and make a full Thanksgiving meal for the Mrs. and me. It helps that last Thanksgiving, I was on a 100% liquid diet in preparation for weight loss surgery. There was no real need to do this, since it’s just us and she wasn’t concerned about having a traditional meal. But I thought, why not? It was my first time making my own Thanksgiving turkey meal. Everything turned out great except the gravy. 😊 I just wanted to do something special for us. Although I was exhausted (and had a sore back from all the bending and standing) with all the cooking and cleanup, I felt extremely satisfied. Serving others brings a higher level of satisfaction.
Love the “hard to love.” Here, I’m speaking mainly of family. Every family has a person, or several people, that are tough to be around. There is negative energy, drama, or unpleasant speech and/or demeanor – or sometimes, all of the above. Be the one that rises above it. Do something extra for the dramatic one. Love more and bigger.
Examine your celebrations. By this I mean to take stock of how your habits and traditions and adjust as needed. Your TV, radio, smartphone and computer always scream at top volume around just about every holiday. There is a new item or trend, and it MUSTbe yours. Not only that, you are an abject failure if you aren’t FIRST in line. You must place others’ perception of you above all else, and do / act as they expect. I do not understand this nonsense. Maybe it’s because I’m nearing age 50 and realize that I am closer to the end of my life than I am to the beginning, but I just couldn’t possibly care less what other people think. When you and I are on our death beds, I’m 100% sure we will not be thinking, “I wish I’d spent more time at the office”, “I wish I’d attended more meetings”, “if only I had gotten (insert an item that was once all the rage here)”, or anything of the kind. So why worry about it now? I refuse to shop on Black Friday, or pretty much the entire weekend. I do most of my shopping online anyway.

Let’s start right here, and turn the holidays in front of us a testimony to how good people can be if they put their minds to it. 😊