So today is Thanksgiving, or as I like to think of it, the day the Americans eat lots of turkey. So to all my family and friends in the USA, Happy Thanksgiving y’all and enjoy your turkey dinner.
We won’t be having turkey for dinner here because a) We will be having sausages (obviously) and b) We are terribly British and therefore we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. And it made me wonder whether Thanksgiving would work very well in the UK, we tend not to go around being thankful for things, on the contrary we tend to go around moaning about things. The glass could be half full or the glass could be half empty – either way this is a negative situation for the average Brit. Someone really ought to be filling the glass for you, but to get the glass filled you may need to queue up with a whole load of other people, it will no doubt irritate you that you have to queue and you will use the time to mutter at other people in the queue who quite obviously don’t know how to queue properly. Alternatively someone may come to you and fill the glass for you, but the person doing this will most likely exhibit a poor level of customer service, the beverage itself will be overpriced and you will probably decide it wasn’t very nice. You will however not point this out and when asked “How are your drinks?” you will inevitably reply “Very nice, thank you very much”, whilst turning to your companion and mumbling “it really tastes quite unpleasant Colin, someone ought to tell them”.
So we Brits would probably institute a “I think you’ll find I’m not terribly thankful actually” Day, but, in the spirit of the way things are done “over the pond,” I thought I’d put a few thoughts down about the things for which I am thankful.
The basic ones are fairly obvious – I’m thankful I don’t live in a war zone or in a country with a dictator or under a violent and oppressive regime. I’m thankful I have food, clothes, warmth, a roof over my head and that myself and my family don’t live in abject poverty or at threat of famine or killer diseases. And I’m thankful for the luxury of living in country with freedom of speech and democracy. These are the things we take for granted that others would long to have and yet often we complain about what we don’t have … a faster car, a bigger house, designer clothes, a new handbag … but really – are these the things that matter ? Are these the things that bring happiness?
I don’t think so – so I’ve listed some things that do bring happiness:
* Sausages – it goes without saying – they keep my daughter happy and are a cheap handy meal to have in freezer that can be used as a starter or main course. They can be dinner or lunch or even breakfast. They can be brunch, supper or a midnight feast. I would even like to think in times of austerity that they’d make a pretty good pudding.
* Good friends & a great family – again it goes without saying that I’m thankful for these. It is so important having wonderful, funny, kind, slightly crazy, supportive people around you – and even those who are not nearby still seem as if they are through the wonders of the internet and skype. Its a great thing.
* Laughter – some of the corniest sayings are the best – but laughter really is the best medicine. Nothing beats a really good laugh whether it’s with close friends, a loved one, a crazy little kid, a funny commedian on TV, a great book or a lot of silly online banter. We all love those moments when you just can’t stop giggling and your stomach hurts.
We might be a nation known for our ability to moan and winge but we are also known for our sense of humour. So in the words of the great Steven Fry as Lord Melchett on Blackadder “Thank the Lord for the gift of Laughter.”