Thanksgiving: Is it lost in holiday shuffle?

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I spent the week taking down the ghosts and goblins and putting up the Thanksgiving pilgrim and Indian decorations (can I still say “Indian?”). Meanwhile television advertising began promoting Christmas cheer while I mentally began making my gift shopping list.

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But wait, not so fast sister. Somewhere between Halloween candy and Christmas tree twinkles, Thanksgiving seems to have been momentarily misplaced. There’s more emphasis on Black Friday sales than gathering around the harvest table to offer thanks for the blessings we often take for granted.

We go about our sweet secure lives in small town America with access to ample food and clean drinking water without much thought of the daily horrors of war being waged a world away. If we’re lucky enough to have our family around us, we have the makings of a perfect Thanksgiving.

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The uniquely American holiday has always been a good excuse to reunite with family members we don’t see but a couple of times a year at best. We share our lives over roast turkey, cornbread dressing and green beans swimming in mushroom soup. Sweet potato casserole topped with tiny toasted marshmallows and pumpkin and pecan pies will round out my traditional feast now that I’m committed to simplifying my life and no longer so desperate to impress.

For years I tried to blow away my family with my exceptional (and very questionable) culinary talents. I would work for weeks perfecting some doctored up, non-traditional presentation which in retrospect could be identified as awesome stupidity.

filetThe family rolled their eyes but dutifully ate the often unidentifiable fare such as Sweet Potato Fillet Migyams (roast sweet potatoes wrapped in bacon) or Turkey Taco Bellinis (made from Burrito Supremes from Taco Bell). Oh, and remember that year I made White Trash puff balls? Nothing says Thanksgiving like prepackaged pepperoni wrapped in canned biscuit dough. Yum, yum.

This year I’m going traditional all the way and I double dog dare anyone to excuse themselves to get to the mall. Nope. Not allowed.

I was horrified to learn that some major chains are opening on Thanksgiving Day before the table is even cleared and we settle down to watch a bunch of millionaires play football on TV. The time span between Thanksgiving and Christmas is shorter than usual this year with barely four weeks between the two. I even overheard someone refer to Thanksmas the other day. That’s blasphemy in my book.

Each year it seems quality Thanksgiving time gets pinched, and I’m rebelling against this injustice because I love, love, love Thanksgiving traditions: watching football, mashing potatoes, Uncle Egbert’s wildly nonpolitically correctness, and getting undressed at the end of the day to find your bathrobe won’t meet in the front anymore.

thanksgivingI have fond memories of the annual family gatherings through the years, although many of the main characters are no longer with us. We bring them back to life with our memories and stories which in true Southern fashion are often blown out of proportion.

Thanksgiving is a time when the world gets to see just how blessed we are. The emphasis is not on giving or buying, but on being thankful and expressing that appreciation in a million different ways. But mostly by being present and giving our guests our undivided attention.

I fear the identity of one of our most cherished holidays is at risk of extinction. How sad, and I for one, am not going to let it happen. I will stop and give thanks that my family is safe and healthy and that we are lucky enough to live in America. One poet toasted our forefathers with these words:

“To those whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.”

It sure won’t happen in the checkout line at the K-mart on Thanksgiving Day.

9 thoughts on “Thanksgiving: Is it lost in holiday shuffle?

  1. Agree, we are staying home and eating and watching movies. We used to go to three houses, everyone wanted us there at 11am. As the family members aged, I was cooking 4 meals, and we were trying to make everyone’s holiday “special”.

    When my father passed in 1994, at the age of 94, we stopped. They all felt abandoned, we held firm, and life changed. Thanksgiving at our house is
    “Peace on earth, good will towards men, please pass the gravy.” Lol.

    No shopping for us, we decorate our tree Thanksgiving night, and sing carols…… off key of course!

  2. Are you the “Norma” who told me about Bernie Siegel’s book ‘love, medicine & miracles” ? I ordered it from Amazon and stayed up all night monday hanging onto every word. I can never thank you enough.

    Emily

  3. I remember one very lovely Thanksgiving celebration at your home a few years ago. I’m entirely with you on this…. I refused to put up Halloween, just “fall” so that I could stretch Thanksgiving. I was in Hobby Lobby here the last week in June and was stunned to see the 4th of July, Halloween and the beginnings of Christmas items… no Thanksgiving. At leas they did put some up in mid-October. I think it’s sad. We’ll be home with grandchildren, eating, visiting and watching football. I’m very thankful for the people in my life. Happy Thanksgiving, Emily.

  4. Yvonne, do you remember that my fireplace blew up in the middle of the meal. It’s a miracle it happened when someone was home! And we all lived to tell about it!!! I’ve thought about that often and always get a good chuckle. You and Ben took it all in stride! Like what else would we expect at Emily’s ? Right?

    Happy thanksgiving to you too. Still miss you something awful!

  5. Yes, I am the same Norma. I love Bernie Siegel. I wrote an e mail to him one Sun night. He responded in about an hour with suggestions. We e mailed back and forth for a couple of weeks. He gave me several suggestions to deal with auto immune symptoms.

    I first read his books in the 80’s. He is a really, caring person. Hope you enjoy his wisdom and you are helped.

    Norma

  6. Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday since I was a child. About 20 years ago we got 4 students from Keesler AFB who were away from home for Thanksgiving and that started our annual Thanksgiving Party. We still get the Airmen from Keesler but the party has expanded to 40-50 with attendees from all parts of the country. A lot of great food and much good wine and laughter make for a hell of a day. Happy Thanksgiving dear. Give the “girls” a hug for me when y’all “reboot” this weekend.

  7. My gosh Damron! What a wonderful thing to do. You are a surprise a minute. By the way, “the Damron protocol” is very real and I found a clinic in California that administers the hydrogen peroxide. Seriously considering getting off the chemo and giving it a go.

  8. Emily,

    Suzanne Somers recieved holistic treatments in her cancer battle and I believe she did well. She probably has written a book on her experience.
    There are many options, we do have choices.

    Norma

  9. Bill,
    What a great tradition! I know those men and women appreciate having “family” for Thanksgiving.

    Norma

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