Thanksgiving Tag

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"One week from today is Thanksgiving Day here in the US. And while the exact origin of the holiday may be unclear, the intent of the day still rings true: there is always something to be grateful for in our lives. Whether it’s that we have stayed healthy during a pandemic, had the support of friends and family during difficult times, experienced success in whatever way we define it, or even just made it through another year, gratitude is a state of mind that’s a universal part of the human experience."...

To paraphrase A Tale of Two Cities, the holiday season is the best of times, and the worst. The holidays celebrated from November through January, replete with tradition and meaning, guarantee that ceremony and fun will end up co-mingling with pushed buttons and dashed expectations. To help keep your relationships harmonious during the holiday season, I offer a brief summary of what will matter most to the people in your life, and what won’t. There are also a few suggestions here regarding ways to keep the season happy for everyone....

Dear Vicki: Thanksgiving is less than one month away and I’m dreading it. I hate Thanksgiving. It’s so much work! I remember my mother used to cook for days to be ready for Thanksgiving dinner. And then it took hours to clean up after it. She never complained, but it must have bothered her when Dad and my brothers went off to watch football while my sister and I helped Mom clean the kitchen. My girls are teenagers now and while I’ve made the “traditional” Thanksgiving meal all of their lives, and they have helped me, I’ve dreamed about doing things differently. I want to honor the idea of being grateful – that’s the most important part – and I want my family to have a wonderful holiday, but when I suggest changing it up a little in the food department to make things easier, my husband refuses to break with tradition. Secretly, I’d like to boycott the whole holiday this year, but then I feel guilty. Am I a horrible mom? Signed: Hates Turkey Dear Hates Turkey: The short answer is that, no, you are not a horrible mom. Actually, you seem like a pretty honest mom to me. You care about your family and want to do well for them, but you also want to make it easier for you and your girls. That is very reasonable and actually very loving. The fact that you really want to make a good Thanksgiving holiday for your family but are feeling guilty that you might not be doing enough for your family suggests that you probably have a good amount of Earth energy in your personality. Earths care about making and keeping people happy. They want to do the best they can for their friends and family. But a balanced Earth will also know when and where to draw the line so they don’t become a squishy doormat. Congratulations on knowing when to raise your hand and ask for change! And then there is your husband. People who value traditions and want to stick with them usually have a Metal personality. As we have said here many times, Metal people focus on the past. From that perspective, they determine what has worked before, what has not, and what should be carried forward. “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it,” is a common Metal anthem. This sounds like your husband, right? The Thanksgiving traditions have worked for him, so why change them? Part of the problem here is that in the Five Elements model, you and your husband relate to each other on the Nurturing Cycle, which is usually a good indication that the relationship will be, as it says, nurturing. However, it is your Earth that feeds his Metal, which often creates an expectation in both the Earth person and the Metal person that it is the Earth’s job the keep the Metal happy. And that is often a hard perception to counter because Metal people like having things done for them and Earth people...

Dear Readers: In the USA, tomorrow is a day of Thanksgiving. And while the exact origin of the holiday may be unclear, the intent of the day still rings true: there is always something to be grateful for in our lives. Be that health, friends and family, success in whatever way we define it, or life itself, gratitude is a state of mind that’s a universal part of the human experience. It turns out it’s also deeply embedded in the Five Elements model. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. After all, a model that claims to be no less than a complete explanation of the workings of the universe will have to contain gratitude. And it does. In the Five Elements model, each element owes its existence and ability to function in a balanced manner to the other four. And in a very profound way, when one element receives help from another, the receiving element pays it forward, so to speak, by doing the same for a different element in the system. If Water is running low, Metal sends energy to Water. And Water will do the same for Wood, just as Wood will send energy to Fire, Fire will send it to Earth, and Earth will feed it back to Metal. It’s a neverending flow of giving that’s a key hallmark of the Five Elements model. The other hallmark of the model is the ability of each element to ensure that no element overdoes it. If Wood has too much energy, Metal will reach across the model and decrease the excess. This guarantees Wood’s survival and in gratitude for that service, Wood will do the same for Earth, just as Earth will decrease excess for Water, Water will decrease Fire, and Fire will return the initial favor back to Metal. And while our “more is better” culture usually sees a decrease in something as bad, in reality it’s crucial for survival. There is joy in the model at both increase and decrease. But does that translate to people? I can answer that with an unequivocal, “Yes!” Let’s take a look. Water people need fuel for their big ideas, and the synthesized information Metals provide to Water fits the bill perfectly. Their “gratitude” to Metal is expressed when Waters actually use what Metals provide, thereby acknowledging its importance. Metals like to feel that what they do is important. But if Waters receive too much information, they risk spreading themselves too thin by trying to use everything, and shallow water evaporates quickly. So when Earth steps in and contains Water, Water survives. Water’s gratitude is expressed to Earth though its ability to keep excess Fire from scalding Earth. Wood people need big ideas to manifest. They get big ideas from Waters and express their gratitude by manifesting something Water can imagine, but never create itself. Waters like to see their ideas come to life; it validates them. But too many ideas from Water can put Woods at risk because they will try to manifest them all. So...

“I just found out that our traditional family Thanksgiving is at risk. Earlier this year my brother Derek married Leslie, who I’m sure is a Fire. We usually have a private dinner for the 18 of us, but that seems to be out the window because Derek and Leslie are hosting the holiday. And they are dumping the turkey and throwing a party for 50! How can I get things under control and back to the traditional Thanksgiving we all love?”...