Why is it we go from Halloween to Christmas? As if another major holiday doesn’t exist in between? Are there even store decorations for Thanksgiving? In grade school, remember drawing turkeys using your hand as a template? Did you perform skits about the Pilgrims? Dress in costume? I wonder if kids today even know who Squanto was? Are they taught about the first Thanksgiving and how the settlers at Plymouth Colony would have died if not for the generosity of the Indians?
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday for many reasons. It’s when family gets together to do nothing more than share a meal. No presents to buy and wrap. No expectations. Just visit, catch up with each other’s lives—especially for those not connected by Facebook.
Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on our blessings. At times, this is tough to do. When life overwhelms us, it’s hard to give thanks. Not to get preachy, but if we look beyond ourselves, we can always find someone who has more problems than we do. And we can be thankful for that.
One of my fondest memories of Thanksgiving is watching the Hudson’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (now America’s Thanksgiving Parade) on television. Like many department stores, Hudson’s is no longer. Marshall Field’s bought them out and then Macy’s. But the parade continues. No matter where I live I always tune into the parade as it travels down Woodward Avenue in Detroit.
Along with parade watching, I remember the smells of Thanksgiving morning as Mom would prepare the stuffing for the turkey. Onions, celery, carrots (mirepoix, as my chef son would say) being sautéed in butter along with sage and a little thyme. Love that smell. The turkey roasting during not just the parade but during the Lions’ game, too. For me, the menu for Thanksgiving dinner is the easiest of all holiday meals. It’s always the same: turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes in maple syrup (oh, the carbs!), vegetables (usually peas and corn), a relish tray, Jello salad, cranberries (not my favorite), pumpkin and pecan pies for dessert. Pushing away from the table more stuffed than the bird was and going into turkey coma.
My very favorite Thanksgiving memory is the day I married my best friend. Yep, we got married on Thanksgiving Day, just like my mother and grandmother before me. They married on that day because of convenience. I did because the timing was right and I thought it was kind of cool to carry on the tradition. Although I had no expectations, my daughter was married on Thanksgiving Day, too. Hubs refuses to recognize the date we married (which is today, btw). According to him, we got married on Thanksgiving Day and that’s the day he celebrates. Since this year will be our 43rd anniversary, he can celebrate whenever he wants.
However you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, whoever you are with, take a moment to be thankful and enjoy the day.
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