Tomorrow we will once again sit down at a table with family and this year's holiday dinner. The traditional turkey, yams, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, and all the side dishes you can imagine will be served. We will give thanks for the coming together of family and friends at the feast.
America has set aside days throughout the year to celebrate everything from the founding of our country, to remember our veterans, and the labor movement. But Thanksgiving is the one day we pride ourselves on sitting down as a family and spending time together.
The idea of the first Thanksgiving has been commercialized into a gathering of Pilgrims in tall hats and ladies in white bonnets and the Indians, as new friends, came with a bounty of wild game for the feast. The truth probably is that it was not as neat and sanitized as the commercial promoters would have us believe. Never the less it was a time for families and friends to celebrate the fall harvest.
Today the fall harvest is frozen and waiting for us at our local grocery store. No turkey to kill or corn to harvest and dry. The pumpkin for the pie is processed and in a colorful can container on the shelf. Potatoes are bought in a ten pound bag for a few dollars. All these things are neatly packaged waiting for us to purchase them for our table at this time of the year.
Our lives have become so busied, we no longer harvest our crops and work to preserve them for the long coming winter months.
The turkey that was once hunted for the dinner is now grown in just a few months in a building with thousands of other turkeys. Turkeys are raised to have an abundance of white meat with a wonderful aroma when cooked and sliced for dinner.
The day typically begins early for those preparing the holiday meal. Turkey is prepared and placed in the oven to be cooked to a golden brown. By mid-morning the wonderful smell of the bird roasting fills every room in the house. On television the Macy's Day parade is making its way down the crowded streets of New York City. Large colorful balloons float over Broadway as bands, all practiced and polished, perform the songs of the Christmas season. All of these entertaining events are seen on a large screen TV and most likely the person cooking the dinner seldom has the opportunity to sit and enjoy the parade.
After all is prepared and ready, the labor of love dinner is served. The cook is glad to have a few moments to sit and enjoy the result of the day's labor. For a moment the house becomes quiet and the Thanksgiving blessing is given. It is at this moment the meaning of the first Thanksgiving and the one we celebrate tomorrow cross paths.
At this moment we should remember that the day is not about parades, turkey, pumpkin pies, or football. It is about being thankful for being together as a family, memories, celebrating another year together and looking toward a new year in a few short weeks.
We should also remember in this great country nearly 49 million of our fellow citizens may not know where their next meal is coming from. Of those, 17 million are children. The harsh economy and jobs lost have placed many more families in difficult times over the last few years. For many to have a meal of any kind is a blessing for their family.
We have good intentions of staying close throughout the year, but in reality our busy lives often pull us in different directions. But, on this day and this moment in time we share one of the great gifts we are each given, to be part of a family.
Tomorrow as I sit down with my family I will remember the gift I am part of. I will also remember those that are no longer with us at the Thanksgiving table this year. And I will remember those of you I consider my family of friends. I will stop and remember those that are less fortunate at this time and wish the future will be bring a new start. I hope you will make them part of your blessing for the day. From the staff of the Wetzel Chronicle and my family I wish you a warm and pleasant day this Thanksgiving.