Still more Thanksgiving

Cat_243_dover_17 From Mary Jo   

It’s Thursday night and I’m suffering a severe case of tryptophan toxicity here, having eaten my share of all the traditional Thanksgiving dishes.  First one eats, then one sleeps.  It’s the tradition. 

A lot of energy is involved in digesting, which tends to leave less oxygenated blood to apply to creativity and wordsmithery.  So if this is a short and blandish blog, blame it on the turkey!

We’ve already had two terrific historical posts on Thanksgiving this week.  I’m still chuckling over Susan Miranda’s description of “a frozen chunk of poultry three times the size of the family pet,” and as always, I’m amazed at Susan Sarah’s ability to come up with such brilliant illustrations for her posts. 

I personally have no interest in football on Thanksgiving or any other day—quite the contrary—but nonetheless, Thanksgiving has become possibly my favorite holiday of the year. 

Christmas_stockings_2 Christmas was the big kid holiday when I was little, of course—the excitement was almost unbearable.  We small fry would wake up early from eagerness even though the only thing we could open that early was our stockings.  One year, we were up at 1:00 am, and I was so young that I didn’t really understand my parents’ position that it was still last night, not yet this morning. <G> 

Halloween and Easter were pretty cool, too—all that candy!  Even though I lived in a part of the country where either holiday could be pretty darn chilly and Halloween costumes were invariably covered with thick coats, hats, gloves, and possibly galoshes, it was still great fun. 

Thanksgiving_cook Thanksgiving was good because we were off school, but it seemed like a lot of work for a meal.  Over the years, that has changed.

For many, many years, we’ve gone to my sister’s for Thanksgiving.  She runs the best private B&B in Virginia (only relatives can stay, and we don’t have to pay <g>), and setting off west to drive down the Shenandoah Valley and into the mountains is a high point of the year.  I generally bring a few items like pies and mashed potatoes, but my usual role is to appreciate (which I do very well), and clean up (at which I am dutiful.) 

Turkey This year, for geographical reasons, our Thanksgiving was held at my house for the first time.  I was spared the terrors of roasting a turkey for the first time in my life because my sister was willing and she does a mighty fine turkey.  For me were the more mundane tasks of cleaning house, pulling out every pan and serving dish I own, then putting them away at the end of the day after they were washed.  Early on, I also packed away the most extroverted cat because one of the guests is very allergic to felines. 

It was a great time.  Our family tradition runs to pot luck, with everyone contributing something to spread the burden and give us all a sense of accomplishment.  I admire the domestic goddesses who all by themselves can do a star turn with a turkey the size of a Volkswagen, nine side dishes, fresh bread, and three pies, but personally I prefer our tradition of sharing the burden. 

Thanksgiving So we had great food, but even better, great fellowship.  More than any other holiday on the calendar, Thanksgiving is about togetherness—gathering people we care about to give thanks for that caring.  It’s about gratitude for our blessings, and about reveling in abundance.  We live in a time when many people experience abundance every day, but historically that wasn’t usually the case, and sadly that still isn’t true for too many people.

Thanksgiving is a holiday with vaguely spiritual undertones, but it can be celebrated by everyone no matter what their beliefs.  It’s for all ethnic groups.  It’s a holiday of gathering in, where college kids invite foreign students home to share the family celebration: it’s a holiday when families invite those who are alone to come and share in the abundance and the goodwill. 

Catfluffy_339_dober Thanksgiving at its best is about the very best in us as people.  Okay, holidays can have a dark side, too, where siblings have fights about what happened in third grade and the chief cook has hysterics while trying to get everything on the table at the right temperature at the right time, and someone has burned his fingers on a pan just out of the oven, or sliced his thumb along with the drumstick, or someone has noticed that the cat is on the table lapping up the gravy.

So holidays aren’t perfect.  But mine was pretty darned close, and I hope those of you who celebrated Thanksgiving today had a marvelous time.  Ditto for those of you like our Canadian neighbors who have the holiday but on a different date, or who celebrate similar festivals of thanksgiving in other lands.  Enjoy!

Enough of the blogging—now bring on the leftovers!

Readmotherhenchicks Mary Jo, grateful for family, friends, fellowship, and felines.  (And if one of them was on the dining room table, I’ll never tell. <g>)

12 thoughts on “Still more Thanksgiving”

  1. Hi MJ!
    Congratulations on the first Thanksgiving at your house. Sounds like it came off without a hitch.
    We had ten around our table yesterday. Very fun. Even though 5 of my 8 siblings live on this coast, I see them way too little. It was so nice to catch up.
    As our feast wound down and moved on to the family room, my German Shepard (who is about 5′ when standing on his hind legs) decided to join the fun. While backs were turned, Drake pilfered a Thanksgiving feast of his own — mashed potatoes and biscuits. At least he was very gentlemanly about it, putting only one paw on the table and dropping nothing on the floor.
    Nina

    Reply
  2. Hi MJ!
    Congratulations on the first Thanksgiving at your house. Sounds like it came off without a hitch.
    We had ten around our table yesterday. Very fun. Even though 5 of my 8 siblings live on this coast, I see them way too little. It was so nice to catch up.
    As our feast wound down and moved on to the family room, my German Shepard (who is about 5′ when standing on his hind legs) decided to join the fun. While backs were turned, Drake pilfered a Thanksgiving feast of his own — mashed potatoes and biscuits. At least he was very gentlemanly about it, putting only one paw on the table and dropping nothing on the floor.
    Nina

    Reply
  3. Hi MJ!
    Congratulations on the first Thanksgiving at your house. Sounds like it came off without a hitch.
    We had ten around our table yesterday. Very fun. Even though 5 of my 8 siblings live on this coast, I see them way too little. It was so nice to catch up.
    As our feast wound down and moved on to the family room, my German Shepard (who is about 5′ when standing on his hind legs) decided to join the fun. While backs were turned, Drake pilfered a Thanksgiving feast of his own — mashed potatoes and biscuits. At least he was very gentlemanly about it, putting only one paw on the table and dropping nothing on the floor.
    Nina

    Reply
  4. Good point about American Thanksgiving being open to all faiths, Mary Jo. And it does seem to be strongly about family and friends.
    Jo, thankful to have a keyboard on this computer that is working for the moment. 🙂

    Reply
  5. Good point about American Thanksgiving being open to all faiths, Mary Jo. And it does seem to be strongly about family and friends.
    Jo, thankful to have a keyboard on this computer that is working for the moment. 🙂

    Reply
  6. Good point about American Thanksgiving being open to all faiths, Mary Jo. And it does seem to be strongly about family and friends.
    Jo, thankful to have a keyboard on this computer that is working for the moment. 🙂

    Reply
  7. A good keyboard is definitely something to be thankful for, Jo!
    As for the German Shepherd helping himself to a nice dinner–well, pets are so much a part of the family that it makes a certain sense.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  8. A good keyboard is definitely something to be thankful for, Jo!
    As for the German Shepherd helping himself to a nice dinner–well, pets are so much a part of the family that it makes a certain sense.
    Mary Jo

    Reply
  9. A good keyboard is definitely something to be thankful for, Jo!
    As for the German Shepherd helping himself to a nice dinner–well, pets are so much a part of the family that it makes a certain sense.
    Mary Jo

    Reply

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