The Gratitude Olympics


By Cherimie Crane Weatherford

Like polished children in Sunday school, half the world is praying with one eye open, graciously announcing to any slanted ears all that which makes them thankful. Meticulously listing the usual suspects such as family, friends, favorite food and even lip gloss to a perceived audience of distinction. Tis the season to remind the world (or at least everyone on your Facebook page) that you are most appreciative of just about everything.

Columnist Cherimie Crane Weatherford.

Social media, social networking and social suppers have catapulted the required penance from personal to public with gale force. No longer is being thankful enough, one must be openly thankful with eloquent lists, bullet points and/or power point presentations of pure poetic perfection. Announcing, without fail, to the general public of all the many blessing one has been bestowed. If you fail to articulate your glowing gratitude, you obviously fail as a person and shall be banned from all Thanksgiving Day festivities. It is within these odd emerging customs that I find great humor.

Prayers, politics and panties are just three things that may be best kept private. All three are of personal choice and stick out like a sore thumb when thrust into the public realm. Maybe I am a Thanksgiving Grinch, possibly I secretly resent the Pilgrims for being so gosh darn open. It isn’t that I lack a gratuitous heart. I find little joy in attempting to out gratitude those around me. Present trends are the Gratitude Olympics and the competition is fierce.

I have always been told that I was different, not special different unfortunately, just plain different. My inability to understand odd new cultural calamities often lands me on the corner of anti-social and odd giggling to myself as if I am the only one who knows where the good wine is hidden. As public my life seems to be, I find I am much more comfortable in the privacy of my own thoughts. Thanksgiving happens to be one of my favorite holidays. It is the perfect storm of food, family and reflection.

My cornucopia runneth over. It is with pure shock I wake each morning to the life that has been so generously given to me. My inability to announce my every gratitude to the world around me isn’t birthed out of the absence of gifts, blessings or lip gloss. When I am stopped at the bridge, I am thankful for a few moments to indulge in the beauty of Beaufort. When my husband changes the light bulb, I am overwhelmed with joy of having a mate of such height. The closet full of clothes that I curse daily, the home renovations that just won’t stop, the phone that rings even when it is off and a sweet Mother who reminds me that I have yet to grant her grandchildren, all are precious gifts that do warrant a Thank You. Matter of fact, few days — holiday or not — pass in which I don’t at some point stop and thank God for some small miracle, maybe it is finding a parking meter half paid or making it out of Publix parking unscathed or even managing an entire day without the familiar taste of my foot.

I do say thanks, I just do so privately. Happy Thanksgiving Y’all!

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