Friday, November 21, 2014
A Time for Thanks
by Sandy Cody
It's that time of year again - a little less than a week until Thanksgiving - perhaps our noblest holiday. Why the noblest? Because, for one day at least, we take time to be thankful for the things we have instead of longing for the things we lack.
There's no reason for this holiday except to be thankful. We don't expect anyone to give us a gift. We don't have to shop for a special dress and the perfect shoes to compliment it. All we have to do to honor the day is count our blessings ... oh ... and cook. But even that is pretty easy compared to most special days. There's no agonizing over what to serve. The menu is dictated by tradition. In our house that means turkey with the usual accompaniments, including both pumpkin and pecan pies. It may be something different for your family, but whatever appears on your table is probably consistent from one Thanksgiving to the next. If your family is anything like mine, the mere suggestion of something different is enough to prompt lifted eyebrows and silent, disbelieving stares - certainly not gratitude for trying to add a little originality to the holiday. At best, the response would be: "Thanks, but no thanks."
I guess this wouldn't be a Thanksgiving post if I didn't list at least some of the things for which I am most thankful: my family; my health and the health of the people I love; plenty of food; a warm, comfortable home; freedom to worship, think and speak according to my conscience. I started to write that I know these are the same things for which we are all thankful, but it occurs to me that would not be true. Far too many people lack some or even all of these blessings. If I'm honest, I have to admit that I have these things, at least in part, because of an accident of birth, not because of any special merit on my part. And for that accident, I am most thankful.
This has turned out to be more serious than I intended. Sometimes that just happens. The words take over and spill out serious thoughts.
I hope all of you have a seriously Happy Thanksgiving. May you spend the day surrounded by people you love and may the day be the perfect mixture of serious gratitude and silly laughter.
I was born in the Midwest, but following my husband's job transfers has taken me South and, finally, to the Northeast. Wherever I've lived, books and book groups have helped bridge the gap between my old and new homes, and have helped me find kindred spirts as friends. And I've learned how unimportant the small regional differences are.