Don’t Skip Thanksgiving

I just can’t believe the Christmas lights I’m already seeing. I saw a Christmas tree in a window on November the first and heard a lady bragging about how she was already finished with all her shopping! My Halloween jack-o-lantern is just now barely drying up with its snaggle tooth smile all turned in on the front porch, but the Rockettes are already dancing to Christmas songs on TV. It seems to me we are missing something somewhere and I don’t know how to slow this modern-day process of pushing time. We should all be thinking of good memories of family, our many blessings in life, home-cooked fattening foods and most of all, how we can combine all of these wonderful experiences into one jam-packed day called Thanksgiving. Instead, we are replacing it with Black Friday and creating a holiday for additional shopping rather than counting our blessings.
 
Thanksgiving used to be very important to me as a child, because I knew as soon as it was over Christmas was just around the corner. However, today children do not have the same understanding of Thanksgiving as I did due to our current society’s commercialization of the holiday period. Beginning after the Fourth of July celebrations, you can order the four CD Christmas Holidays Traditional Music collection over the TV. If that is not bad enough for pushing the season, you can select your favorite genuine artificial Christmas tree at Wally World in the next aisle over from school supplies around the first of September.

However, I feel we need to re-examine what Thanksgiving is all about. It is a time to give thanks for our many blessings and our country, as a whole, has been well-blessed. Thanksgiving is a time to share those blessings and thank the God above for the families we have and the hopes we have for the future.
 
One of our greatest blessings we have as Americans is the abundance we enjoy in this country. As families gather around their dining room table this Thanksgiving, many will enjoy a safe and affordable bounty of food products. Nowhere else in the world will the amount and variety be found like what will be exhibited on tables across this country. From the turkey to the pumpkin pie and the cranberry sauce to the dressing, America’s citizenry will enjoy a day of eating like no other.

I am sure many of you noticed I used the term “dressing” in the last sentence. To me stuffing is something you would find in a couch or a previously live animal that now hangs on the wall. Dressing is made from a mixture of cornbread and other great tasting items that no one can put together like my mother or my late wife. That is another thing to be thankful for on this special holiday. No matter where you live or what you call it, you have the freedom to do so without any problem or fear.
 
The Pilgrims started it all, as all of us know the origin of the day, but it is reported on wilstar.com that it was Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor, whose efforts eventually led to what we recognize as Thanksgiving. Hale wrote many editorials for her cause in her Boston Ladies’ Magazine, and later, in Godey’s Lady’s Book. Finally, after 40 years of writing editorials and letters to governors and presidents, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving. The proclamation was made after Lincoln delivered his famous Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863, as a way and a hope to heal a nation at war. The date was changed a couple of times, but in 1941, Thanksgiving was finally sanctioned by Congress as a legal holiday on the fourth Thursday in November.
 
Let’s take advantage of this day and give thanks for what we have. The malls can wait, but the thanks we give to the One who created it all comes first. He should not be left to have to sit at the second-table.
 
Hold off on Christmas a little while longer and have a Happy Thanksgiving. Be sure to enjoy your dressing!