Non-Narrative Holiday – Thanksgiving

Non-Narrative Holidays

Non-Narrative Holidays are culturally or Humanisticly important days which don’t fit into the narrative arc of A Humanist Year. Because we often get these days off from work or school, they are sometimes treated as chances to catch up on errands or at best to gather together with friends and family to have a good time. While observing AHY, we remember that these days are also opportunities to reflect and engage with important aspects of life.


While this American holiday has its roots in Puritan religious observance, the idea of taking time to step back and be grateful for all that we have (particularly around harvest time) is as old as humanity. Enjoy the time you have with family or friends today and remember that you can be grateful in a secular way.

When sitting down to your meal, consider giving thanks to all of the people in the vast network of society who make that meal possible. Give thanks to the farmers and herdsmen (and the animals who gave their lives), to the processors, the distributors, and the grocery store workers. Give thanks to the educational and economic systems which allow you to not worry about having food to eat, and reflect on the many who those same systems have failed. In sum, seek to appreciate just how much goes into your comfortable life and how much you are indebted to others, both those immediately around you and in society at large.

Also, don’t forget about #givingtuesday. Share the bounty you have.

2 thoughts on “Non-Narrative Holiday – Thanksgiving

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