No modern holiday is so closely identified with consumption as Thanksgiving. Most related statistics are quoted in units of millions and billions of pounds of food and excess kilocalories, concern for which has given rise to an online prevalence of holiday calorie counters. However, a focus on overconsumption wholly neglects more profound meanings of the Thanksgiving holiday, not the least of which is the title of the holiday itself!
The holiday’s origins may be mired in a less-than-savory history, but in modern times, the holiday has become more of a collective time-out for coming together as family, for reaffirming community bonds and for reflecting on all that is good in life, on all we have for which we are thankful.
In fact, for all of the calories consumed at Thanksgiving tables, there are all of those calories burned on countless “Turkey Rides” organized across the country. Cycling communities everywhere get together on this day to enjoy the outdoors, a sense of community and a spirit of gratitude. I wonder if anyone has ever compiled statistics on how many people participate in Turkey Rides, on how many calories are burned, on the side effects of focusing on the positive, or genuinely feeling a part of a community? Those are the kinds of statistics I’d like to see, and in my opinion, we could use more holidays like this one.