Thanksgiving 2010

In the United States tomorrow will be the Thanksgiving holiday, a day we gather together with our family and/or friends to give thanks for our blessings. This has been a tough year for a lot of us, and the economic news doesn’t seem to be brightening. But frugality is about more than just money, and has at its heart a gracious and abundant attitude. The frugal eschew waste and mindless spending in exchange for a measured approach to getting what they need, and sometimes what they want. They know that there is a sweetness in waiting for a desire to be satisfied. They understand the concept of enough.

The View from my Window in Watercolor by Julia Stege

Using that kind of frugality as a guide it is possible to be truly and deeply thankful for the relationships and things that we have even in an imperfect world. It gets easier when the measuring stick of money gets put on a very low rung on the priority ladder. The overall society is obsessed with that particular measuring stick, but that doesn’t mean that we have to be. If you have been walking down this road for awhile, you already have a network for keeping afloat, and perhaps even a bit of surplus, even if it only comes in the form of zucchini.

If you are new to all of this, I would like to say it gets better, as you find your footing in the gift and barter economy. But, just for right now, no matter what else is happening, ask yourself do I have enough today? Chances are that you already have a plan for Thanksgiving Day. That in itself is the sort of thing that can inspire gratitude. Even if is a public free meal, you are still inside, away from the cold, eating a meal in the company of other humans. That is a start. And most of us have a good deal more than that, even if we are unemployed, just lost the house, or whatever. I’m not saying it is fair, just that you will survive. And you still have plenty if you can see it.

So, on this Thanksgiving, I am setting aside the judgments and care to concentrate on the goodness of community, of the giving earth, and of the presence of love in the world. I am sure the rest can wait for a day. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

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