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This year was the first time since the 1800s and the last time for the next 70,000 years, according to Buzzfeed, that Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlapped. These are two holidays on which it is particularly difficult to be far from home—both are, for me, so much about family and community and love—but this year, rather than wallow in that, I decided to be proactive and, teaming up with some friends here, threw a Thanksgivukkah party.
While not quite as miraculous as a single drop of oil lasting for eight days and eight nights, that this came together—and it did! it really, really did!—despite the fact that I invited too many people because I wanted to be inclusive and the fact that the person charged with the turkey was deeply concerned about the bird and the fear that there wouldn’t be enough food or drink was something of a miracle. And one that made me realize for just how much I have to be thankful.
I am thankful for my mother, who raised me to do things like make sure that everyone feels welcome at the table. Because, yes, sure, maybe it means that you need to book room at the last minute, but it also means that you do things like throw parties to which everyone feels welcome, a spirit that they then reciprocate by bringing you delicious food and drink. (And, while I’m at it, I’m thankful for the rest of my family, all of whom I missed very much this Thanksgiving.)
I am thankful for my friends from Columbia, to whom a wacky theme party ain’t no thing, and who were there, I think, in spirit as we served latkes next to turkey.
And I’m thankful for the people that I’ve met here. I have blogged before about how extraordinarily lucky I know I am to be here, but I felt it to be especially true this past Thursday. It’s not every year you meet a group of people who humor you in the way that I am humored here.
And I am thankful for my health (foot wound that I sustained while trying to move a table setting up notwithstanding) and for the health and happiness of the people I love. And I am thankful for the places I have been and those I’ll still go. I am thankful for who I have been, and who I am, and who I will become. For what I learnt this past year and for what I will still learn. And for the people (namely, the seven around the dinner table in Manhasset, New York) who remind me, when I forget, of just how much I have to be thankful.
Because, miracle of miracles, they are always right. I have so much for which to give thanks. Especially on Thanksgivukkah. But every other day, too.
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