There was a time in my life that Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday. The operative word of course is “was”. Now . . . well, now it is a holiday that involves a lot of great food, so I guess it’s not all bad.
In the days when Thanksgiving was still on my favorite-holiday-short-list we would go to my cousin’s house in “the country”, an old hunting cabin on the Choptank River, with a big stone fireplace and a screened-in porch. It was what every Thanksgiving should be – filled with food and family, love and laughter, and a roaring fire.
It has been ten years since we had Thanksgiving there. In those years Thanksgiving has become an especially tough holiday for me. Though I imagine part of it is missing the people who are no longer here . . . my dad, my grandmother, my grandmother’s brother and her sister, my other grandmother (holy crap, this list is getting depressing . . . ), I think what is just as hard is the loss of tradition. Something about Thanksgiving was always so perfect. Everyone who should be there was there. It was warm and comforting and all-American. It was the definition of a holiday.
But traditions change and deaths change tradition. I imagine now, even if we tried to recreate those old Thanksgivings at the cabin, they just wouldn’t be the same. Perhaps it would be nice in its own way, but just not the same. What is it they say? You can’t go home?
Now, you may be hoping that I am going to share how to cope with the pain of changing traditions. That is what I *should* do today. But guess what? I just don’t have it in me. Eleanor wrote a pretty kick-ass post last year about making sense of holiday traditions after a death that you should probably check out if you are looking for some practical Thanksgiving grief advice.
Instead from me you are just going to get a list of things that make me happy. Lame? Maybe. Okay, probably. But that is what I need today. That is what I need this Thanksgiving. And if it isn’t what you need, come back for a visit on Friday. Because today putting these clips together will hopefully make me just a little bit happier and, for the sake of self-care, I need some good old fashioned happy.
Maybe the Best Flash Mob Ever??
Why do flash mobs bring us so much joy? I have no idea. Maybe it is seeing the onlookers looks of ‘wtf’ quickly change to ‘holy crap this is amazing’. Maybe it is just the sheer good-time-ness of it all. Whatever the reason, I think they are amazing. When one broke out next to me at a street festival a couple years ago I could barely contain my excitement. This one is a classic and just makes me happy every time I watch it.
Facts to Make You Happy
I have been struggling with my daily gratitudes for the last week, but I have to say I am definitely grateful for buzzfeed and their random, amazing lists. If you are trying to find gratitude when you’re not feeling all that grateful, we did post some tips for that last week.
I already shared this on social media this week, but it made me happy enough that I am going to share it again. Because why not?
Blind Dog Rescued and Sees Again
I am a total sucker for rescue dogs and this video may officially be the sweetest thing ever.
Thanksgiving Family Flash Mob
If this isn’t the cutest family togetherness of Thanksgiving (at least that involves Journey) I don’t know what is.
Cliche Songs That Never Stop Making Me Happy . . .
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros: Home
Noah and the Whale: L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.
Michael Franti: Hey, I Love You
Sesame Street Musical Guests That Never Stop Making Me Happy
Within the category of Songs That Never Stop Making Me Happy lives this subcategory. I mean, how can these NOT make you happy?!?
A Tribute to Jim Davis
There are no words to introduce this. Either you think a youtube video of reviews of the two Garfield movies set to the Jurassic Park theme sounds brilliant or you don’t. If you don’t, sorry . . . keep it moving. Really. If you do, be prepared for amazingness.
Take A Seat-Make A Friend
I want a ballpit and new friend. ASAP.
Wishing you comfort and strength this Thanksgiving. If Thanksgiving grief has got you dreading the day, I strongly recommend you create your own list of the things that make you smile. For real.
Worried about the upcoming holiday season? Check out our resource ‘A Practical Guide for Grieving During the Holidays’.
Yeah, we know, we’re not your run of the mill grief blog. But if outside-the-box grief coping is your thing, you should probably subscribe.