It’s the American Thanksgiving, which is different from the Canadian Thanksgiving in that it happens in November instead of October. It also differs in the amount and variety of things that we shall consume, and the kinds of thanks that shall be given.

And around these blogospheric parts, it seems we’re directing those thanks appropriately, to the people who enrich our lives and give us reason to give thanks. We do not thank the seemingly-random set of circumstances that brought us together, or some nonexistant monotheistic deity who supposedly directs these circumstances, but we thank instead the people themselves for how they bring us comfort and joy. Telling them so is a bonus, but reciprocating the comfort and joy is paramount.


At Skepticon IV, the Fellowship of Freethought Dallas were videoing attendees/ speakers/ organizers/ vendors/ passers-by, asking us what we were thankful for. The results are thoughtful, sweet, giddy, funny, joyful, touching, occasionally freaky, and almost uniformly inspiring.


It’s late November, time for giving thanks–
But thanks to whom? For me, this question ranks
Among the more important we can ask;
To answer, I’ve assigned myself the task.


And I’m thankful for a big, crazy family and a lot of great friends who make my life so much better. I am lucky to have the world’s greatest dad and to have a group of very close friends who know virtually everything there is to know about me, even all of my many shortcomings, and love me anyway.


I thank my husband Ben for helping me to finish growing up, for growing alongside me, for giving me a safe place to try new things, and for just generally helping to make us both better people than we would be apart.

I thank our other family, Jodi and Jason, for making our home their own and giving us a true home in the Canadian maritimes, a place I loved before I ever managed to visit it and love all the more now that I don’t have to visit it as an outsider.

I am thankful to Ben, Stephanie and Jodi for exactly these reasons. I am thankful to the bloggers at Freethought Blogs, and elsewhere on the greater blogosphere, for all your hard work in providing free and intellectually stimulating content at no small cost to yourselves. I am thankful that my readers correct me when I’m wrong, encourage me when I’m right, and force me to explore issues further than my initial gut reactions — you make me a better person. I am thankful to my dear sister, who is saddled with all the shovelling while we get almost no snow at all in Minnesota, and who is charged with keeping our house in working order while I am thousands of kilometres away.

I am also thankful to the people who have bootstrapped human technology, which has allowed us as a species this breathing room — wherein we can stand back, take a breath, and take stock of all the ways the people in our lives have improved us tangibly. And I am thankful to all those lives lost in the wars for the land we presently occupy, and promise I will try not to squander the resources we have effectively stolen from one hand of the human species to the other. I promise also that I will fight those who intend to squander the same.

To whom do you give thanks?


3 thoughts on “Thankful

  1. 1

    I grew up on a farm in eastern PEI, but my mother had been raised in a suburb of Boston, Mass. As a result, to this day we celebrate both Thanksgiving holidays. These days it’s just an excuse for extended family gatherings and extending waistlines at the same time.

    However, back on the farm, the Canadian Thanksgiving was just a day for non-farm family members to show up and help dig potatoes for a couple of days. Way back, we used to get a week off school in the fall for potato digging. However, by late November, the crops were all harvested, the livestock was all settled into winter quarters, and it was time to actually have a day to relax.

    The American Thanksgiving as a Harvest Festival has always made more sense to me.

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