Thanksgiving: Acceptance is the Goal

I’ve always loved Thanksgiving.

I grew up in the South, and each year we’d go to my grandparents’ Fishing Camp for an annual family reunion. All relatives within driving distance would be there, and a few would even fly in. As I imagine many can relate to, the highlight that stands out so prominently in my mind is… the delicious food! Everyone cooked and brought their best dish. We forgot all diets and healthy eating for the day. Thanksgiving was a happy day, full of love, appreciation, and acceptance. We played cards, laughed at silly jokes, and listened intently to each other’s life stories. We often even did some fishing. Those were good times — we were thankful for so much.

Wow, how times have changed. I don’t go to my grandparents’ Fishing Camp anymore. My grandparents have passed, I’m grown with my own family and attending a small gathering. The decision of the day is whether to mask or not to mask. The food will be much more varied because we have a vegan, a vegetarian, and a pescatarian.

The most significant unknown as I approached this year’s Thanksgiving table was what would be everyone’s willingness to show acceptance. Like many across this country, we have wide divisions within our family, too. Would we have fun, laugh, and have a healthy discourse? Would we be able to listen intently to new life stories without judgment? Can we set our differences aside, love and appreciate one another and be thankful for what we have? I promise…I did my best. How about you?

Check out the following story for my Thanksgiving story part 2. If you enjoy reading my KimMartinTheCoach blogs, follow me on LinkedInInstagram, Medium, or subscribe to my newsletter on my website at!

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Kim Martin