Why Thanksgiving Is My Favorite Holiday

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We are heading into my favorite week of the year.


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it represents everything that is important to me: My family (I just spent a few days with two of my cousins. How deeply meaningful it was to share laughter and connection with them), my kids, my friends, my open table, food, and my faith in this country.

 
I’ve thought a lot lately about welcoming people to the table—not just to my Thanksgiving table, but to my kitchen table on a weekly basis as well. I deeply believe that we all have a common desire to be welcomed, to be invited in, to be included—not just on Thanksgiving, but on every day of our lives. I know I do.
 
I’m deeply touched when someone includes me. When someone invites me in. When someone has time for me. When someone feeds me spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally, like my friend Rev. Ed Bacon did this week. (You can watch our conversation below in this newsletter.)
 
I was particularly struck by one thing he said to me. He said that there are so many good people toiling quietly across our country for good. Individuals who are deeply committed to making our country better. Who want to bring people together. Who want to forge understanding across faiths and across political parties. Rev. Bacon said, “Maria, these good people are quiet. We don’t hear that much about them, though, because all of the attention is going to those who are making the noise.”
 
I was so encouraged by his observations, which have come from his travels and time spent in cities across our country. It’s a reminder that as the noise gets louder—as the yelling increases—may we all remember that there are people working in our neighborhoods, our cities, our schools, and our churches for the greater good. Individuals like Scarlett Lewis, a mom who lost her son in the Sandy Hook School tragedy, then turned her pain into a powerful mission to help children learn compassion and love. She shares her story here in The Sunday Paper today.
 

Individuals like Scarlett are out there everywhere, and so much hope lies within them. Hope lies within each of us to be beacons of positive change. (Watch our new video celebrating Architects of Change and recognize someone you know who is moving humanity forward today.)

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