MY FAMILY'S INSPIRING THANKSGIVING TRADITION
We've been doing this every year since I can remember, and I wouldn't have it any other way!
- •My sister and I gather with our parents in their living room.Now that we no longer live at home, we aren't always able to do this on Thanksgiving Day itself, but we at least try to do it at some point over the four-day weekend.
- •We divide up a standard ream of 500 sheets of printer paper between the four of us.We just eyeball it--we don't actually count it out to make sure we each get exactly 125 sheets 😉
- •We each go off to a separate room with our stack of blank paper and a pen of our choosing.I like to use a thick orange sharpie for a nice autumn touch.
- •For the next hour or so, we write a different thing we're thankful for on each sheet of paper.You may think you don't have 100-plus things to be thankful for, but that's the whole point of this part of the exercise! By the time you've filled up every last sheet, you'll have a newfound contentment about your place in the universe.
- •Once we've each filled up every one of our sheets, we reassemble in the living room to discuss what we wrote down, while we crumple each sheet into a little ball.I know this sounds weird, but just hold on, it'll all make sense in a sec!
- •After we've finished crumpling, we put the 500 paper wads into a large plastic bin.We've been using the same bin all these years, and it's decorated with turkeys and pilgrims that my sister and I drew as kids.
- •And now the best part: for the rest of the day, we drive around town in the family station wagon, throwing the balled-up paper at homeless people.I'm sure the pure joy on their faces as these poor souls uncrumple and read the wads they've been pelted with is truly a magical sight to behold. But we never stick around to see it: the whole point is to give thanks to those less fortunate than us, not to get thanked by them for our generosity. That's why it's called Thanksgiving, not Thanksgetting!
- •By the time it gets dark, we usually still have at least half a bin full of paper wads. But don't worry, those don't go to waste: we dump them at the entrance of the local Goodwill.Could we just go inside and officially donate them? We could, but as the Rabbi Maimonides said, anonymous charity is the highest form of Tzedakah.
- •Now all that's left is to head home for a classic Thanksgiving dinner.We may have some non-traditional traditions, but that doesn't mean we don't love watching football and gobbling up a turkey just like any other family!
- •Happy Thanksgiving, from my family to yours!🏈 🦃 👨👩👧👦