A couple of days ago, I had a conversation with Mr E about gratitude and why the elves believe it is so important. He also talked about the American Thanksgiving holiday and explained how the elves observe their own “Thankful Day.” You can read all of that below but first, Mr E wanted to record an audio of his Thanksgiving greetings especially for you:
Mr E: I wanted to talk about gratitude or thankfulness today because it is an important part of being elven, it’s part of our code of living.
Being thankful or grateful about everything increases one’s joy. If you are thankful for what you have, then you are happy about it, you see what I am saying? It’s about living positively…
NL: Do the elves teach gratitude, do children learn this when they are young?
Mr E: Oh yes, very, very young.
NL: What is your first recollection about that?
Mr E: Well, you know the old saying, “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth?” It’s kind of like that. You know, when you are given something, no matter how small or how large, you are to express gratitude and appreciation for what was given to you.
No matter what it was, even if I gave you a just a penny, you would be expected to say, “oh wow, thank you, now I have an extra penny,” or something similar.
NL: So, you never minimize a gift
Mr E: No, you never minimize anything. You always convey the maximum gratitude you can give because being grateful opens the door to abundance. We believe the more grateful we are, the more the Goddess will provide for us. If she sees this or that thing makes us happy, then she will gladly give us more.
Unfortunately, on the human side, I think the real meaning behind Thanksgiving struggles to compete with football and the eating of the turkey. Hopefully it will prevail because this day was intended to be about remembering all the things one is thankful for, if only for that one moment of the year.
Susan has said, after she came close to death, that she is, you know, thankful for breathing. So, it’s kind of like that, it’s the little things that matter as well as the obvious, big things.
NL: And doing this makes your day better, deeper and richer.
Mr E: Yes, it makes your life better to be appreciative and acknowledge those things on this day and everyday, really.
For us, this holiday is very elven and goes way back in our world before your first American Thanksgiving ever happened. It is something we also do–we have a Thankful Day. It’s not on the same day but we celebrate pretty much along the same lines that humans do, (laughs) except for watching football.
So no, we don’t watch football, but we actually might have a sport that we watch. We might have something going on involving a centaur competition or some other type of contests, things like that.
NL: So who gathers together for this holiday? Is it a family gathering or is it a larger type of gathering?
Mr E: It can be one or the other or both. It’s like a festival, it’s like Christmas. You know, Christmas is everywhere, not just at your house so it’s kind of like that.
NL: So, it’ much bigger than say, a birthday.
Mr E: Oh yes, a birthday is more of a private celebration.
NL: Is your Thankful Day similar to your other celebrations? For instance, is there a bonfire involved in this one?
Mr E: No, no fire for this one.
NL: So, what’s this celebration like? Where does it take place?
Mr E: There will be events in the town here.
NL: So, it’s not a high holiday where a ritual/magic is involved.
Mr E: No, there’s no fire or magical ritual involved. It’s a gathering where we share a meal together and it’s quite a bit like what you call a potluck where everyone brings food dishes to share. In Lakeside, people gather around 50 or so large tables which look pretty much like your picnic tables. Families enjoy talking with other families while the kids are running around and playing with things and having lots of fun.
After the meal, there is music, beer, dancing, singing and all kinds of things for entertainment. At the end of the festivities, we like to have a special time where one representative of each family will come up and speak about what they are thankful for in the past year. Sometimes, even a very young one will raise their little hand up and say, in a wee voice, “I want to tell you what I am thankful for.” Then, someone picks the child up and he or she gets to have their say about thankfulness as well.
NL: So, like the human Thanksgiving, your Thankful Day is centered around a meal.
Mr E: It’s around a meal because a meal nourishes and it’s essential for one’s survival. Also, the fact that you can eat, that there’s food available, is something to be thankful for. Food and good company, those are some of the great things in life. If you’ve got warm clothes, a roof over your head, food in your belly and friends to hang with and share it with, those are some of the important things in life. It’s not about that special wagon that you want to buy, it’s truly about friends and family and we deeply know that.
Here is a related audio clip where Mr E talks about gratitude starting with the expression, “Never look a gift horse in the mouth:”