As we prepare for a day of gratitude and turkey dinners, I can’t help but notice how this simple occasion is truly a cut above the other popular holidays. Think about it – Thanksgiving is devoted to enjoying a traditional, home-cooked meal with family and friends – and that’s it. No presents, costumes, parades (okay – besides Macy’s extravaganza), religious observances, obligatory customs or special songs. What happens is pretty consistent from household to household regardless of where you live in America. You gather around a table to enjoy a meal – typically featuring turkey – honoring America’s origins and all we have enjoyed since those New England harvest festivals centuries ago.
In many communities, it’s also a day to remember those in need expressed through the preparation and distribution of Thanksgiving dinner baskets or volunteering in soup kitchens before enjoying one’s own meal.
Besides personal goodwill, there is corporate goodwill: only Thanksgiving uniquely extends to a four-day holiday weekend. So once you’ve celebrated – or endured – an afternoon with your relatives, you have three more free days to enjoy. In fact, many states officially declare that Friday as a holiday, joining their commercial neighbors. Recognizing the need for entertainment, the NFL schedules plenty of game time, while local high-schools often play their rivals on Thanksgiving morning. There are always a few new movies opening around this time, while many towns host “Turkey Trot” road races or holiday craft fairs to encourage a little family time. In other words, Thanksgiving never means having to get away to enjoy yourself; there is always something special to do over these crisp November days.
So as you enjoy your turkey dinner, remember to be thankful for what makes this holiday experience so special. Simple pleasures are often the best. And when December rolls around, reminisce about feeling well-fed and well-rested before the chaos of those holidays begin!
Wishing you a happy – and delicious – Thanksgiving holiday!