Embracing the gifts of food and friendship sets us on a positive path through the holiday season.
I learned recently that the “horn of plenty,” or cornucopia, has a number of ancient roots, including Greek myths involving horned creatures that nourished gods and symbolized abundance. From ancient times to this day, there seems to be a human impulse to embrace plenty, to celebrate the gifts life sets before us—or that we seek out and cultivate for ourselves.
There is a fine line, however, between “plenty” and “excess.” To stay on the positive side of the equation this Thanksgiving, here are three ways I like to celebrate with humility and gratitude.
1) Broaden Your Definition
“Plenty” doesn’t just apply to food. We should also take the time at Thanksgiving to acknowledge and appreciate the other “plenties” that fill our lives. Plenty of loving friends and family members. Plenty of interesting books to read, work to do, goals to achieve. Life offers so many types of richness—may we notice and celebrate each one.
2) Share Your Plenty
Not everyone has the opportunity to sit down at a Thanksgiving table that’s full of food and family. Whether by volunteering your time at a local food bank or homeless shelter, inviting a single friend to join your family’s celebration or collecting donations to provide for those who need support, you can be sure that you’ll appreciate your “plenty” all the more when you share it with others.
3) Say It Out Loud
Many families have the tradition of going around the Thanksgiving table and sharing the things each person is grateful for. Maybe this year, you can ask your guests to share a thought about something they’re grateful to have “plenty” of. Some people might say, “gravy!” But others might warm your heart with expressions of gratitude for gifts that you wouldn’t have otherwise noticed or acknowledged.
What does “plenty” mean to you?