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December 16th, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear Readers, Dear Friends,

This week’s column will be a short one. (I know, some of you are breathing a sigh of relief with that news.) Sometimes I try to make you laugh in this space; sometimes I just want to make us all think. Today I would like us to think. I would also like us to feel.

Our nation has just finished another very contentious political season and has landed now in what I would consider to be the opposite of a political season. We are in the Thanksgiving Season. In the years that I taught English I would usually remember, in November, to ask one of the younger classes exactly what the word thanksgiving means. It seems that the first hand to go up to answer the question would usually be from some seventh-grade boy or other, who would immediately shout “TURKEY!” This, obviously, in part due to turkey being the other ‘T’ word most used on that day, and also in response to the appetite of a seventh-grade boy. I would then explain that the word thanksgiving is a word composed of two other words and that the class should reverse the order of those two words. Giving Thanks, to me, is what Thanksgiving Day should be all about.

Most people in our country, and I do realize that it is only most people, not all, will celebrate Thanksgiving Day in the usual way this year. Our family, as likely yours, will get together for a massive feast and leave the table more ‘stuffed’ than that big ol’ turkey ever was. We will have gathered with those we love the most, and will have shared food and fellowship, laughter and love, and will leave that table and that shared time full indeed. My hope, and my prayer, is that we will be full of more than food. We should also be filled with love, compassion, and thankfulness.

If possible, please take this special day as an opportunity to make it special for someone from the group not in the ‘most people in our country’ group which began the paragraph above. Find someone to invite to your dinner, someone who would have no feast without you. Or find a charitable organization that you and your family can provide some amount of support to, no matter how small that amount is. Doing this will be a double blessing, one for the recipients, and another one for you.

I told you this column would be short. (I wanted you to have time to read and consider it twice.) I wish you and yours a wonderful, THANKFUL Thanksgiving Day, and I end this with an anonymous quote that I recently read: “If you find that you have more than you need… get a bigger table.”

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