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It’s Thanksgiving Day today. I’ve been feeling it coming for days, maybe even weeks. It’s the week before Thanksgiving, it’s the week after Thanksgiving, have a great Thanksgiving, whatever. Over the years, I even started initiating the “Have a great Thanksgiving” thing. It feels real to me to wish a happy holiday to people. It feels good.

But, even after full fifteen years in America, even after experiencing at least fifteen Thanksgiving Days (some of them alone, by choice, writing like crazy), my feelings about this holiday are pretty “superficial.” Yeah, it’s a holiday, and I even find it quite likable. It’s a moment to stop and smell the roses, that’s at least how I see it. And I like that pause that this holiday invites. It’s also about fullness – full bellies, full houses, people moving around only to come together. It’s not about cities becoming empty, like the Memorial Day is, when you look around and what you notice first are empty streets (as people rush to the beach). I like the holidays that are about emptiness, but I like the fullness of Thanksgiving as well, in a different way.

Nonetheless, my fondness of Thanksgiving is pretty unemotional. I am not particularly bothered by it, but sometimes I wonder about it. How long or what will take for me to feel nostalgia, warmth, or any other feeling when someone mentions Thanksgiving? I am starting to think that it’s the memories, memories accumulated over the years in the depository of my life that I need in order to be able to feel Thanksgiving. That these memories that we gather over many years bring these feelings for a holiday. That it’s never the holiday itself, the current holiday, but it’s all those stacked-up memories of all the Thanksgiving Days we lived through that make us feel whatever we feel when someone mentions a specific holiday.

How many more years will it take for me to achieve that?

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