What does November mean to you? Cold weather? Thanksgiving? Pumpkin spice? Traditionally November has a time of harvest. The last days one would have to prepare for the coming winter. For me, November has always marked the beginning of the end of the current year. I don’t wait until New Year to reminisce. By November, the year is mostly over. There may be some good memories created during December, but it’s been a cold November in America and across the world so far.

I celebrate a memorable holiday in November that many don’t know about or have forgotten. Remember remember the 5th of November. This line will be familiar to anyone who has seen the movie V For Vendetta. The 5th of November marks the day Guy Fawkes tried to blow up Parliament in response to the reformation. I observe the holiday by re-watching the movie and reminding myself that we, the people possess the ability to speak and act against any social injustice. Some years we burn effigies representing corrupt political figures or just evil rotten people in a bonfire.

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Since last year, I am also reminded that November has marked the death of my best friend’s brother and mother all in the same month. The pandemic was to blame, but I still feel guilty because I’m unable to counsel my friend in person. I tried to put myself in my friend’s shoes, and the grief was overwhelming. Without going through such a soul-killing event my self I’m left only to imagine. I can offer an ear, a shoulder to cry on, but loss is loss, and there is nothing that can change that. Such a significant loss in such a short timeframe can have everlasting effects on who you are.

Thanksgiving is the holiday that dominates the American calendar this month. This holiday is based on skewed facts about pilgrims and Indians. Who knows for sure how that dinner went down. But the present era shows the colonials manipulated or took by force the land ownership rights throughout most of this country. As Native Americans were forced onto reservations and were given a holiday that falls on the same day as Columbus Day.

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I do not celebrate Thanksgiving in a traditional sense. Over the years I have been minimalizing the giant feast aspect of it. Leftovers usually get thrown away after weeks in the fridge so why create a large feast to end up throwing away half the food. Before we eat, I have my family around the table and have each of them name what they are thankful for. I ignore the history of the holiday and use Thanksgiving purely as a day of gratitude. A day to be with family and be thankful for all that you have. Many dread this large family gathering with a turkey as its centerpiece. But perhaps you should use this time to heal wounds in your family and be thankful that you have one at all.

I’m sure my friend wishes he could argue with his deceased brother and mother around the table.

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Stay Happy, Thankful, and Free

Belief