Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Max is off to Tulsa to spend the holiday with his father and friends; Lexi is heading to Connecticut where she will share the day with Ryan's family; Curtis and I are gathering here in Jakarta for our 4th annual Expat Thanksgiving. Along with other friends living here without children, guests include singles in town for business and non-American friends we think might enjoy the celebration.
Last year, Shona Mason, a South African and first time Thanksgiving ritual participant, did her homework prior to arriving. "What about the Indians?" she asked. "The Pilgrims wouldn't have survived without them. Seems to me on Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims need to treat the Indians." Thus a new Thanksgiving tradition was born. Shona and I cut up papers. We wrote Pilgrim on half of them and Indians on the rest then dropped them into a hat. Because we are who we are by accident of birth, each attendee drew to see if he or she would be a Pilgrim or an Indian.
By way of thanks, the Pilgrims served the Indians dessert and entertained them with an impromptu song called, "No Place Like Jakarta for the Holidays." This small recognition was all in fun, but behind it is truth that should be recognized especially now: We owe so much to those who do for us, give for us, pave the way, make our world comfortable, safe, welcoming. While clinking glasses and gobbling gobblers this Thanksgiving, it feels good to take time to say thanks.
One group who deserve our gratitude are soldiers. Regardless of our own personal beliefs regarding these political conflicts, these soldiers and their families jeapordize their comfort and security for us.
Go to this website and do a great thing this Thanksgiving: www.LetsSayThanks.com. Send a card to those in our military. Whether you support the war(s) or not, these people are miles away from their families on Thanksgiving. Show them some love!