Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thanksgiving in the USA

by M. J. Joachim

Thanksgiving isn’t the average US citizen’s typical holiday. It’s come a long way from pilgrims and Indians and the stories told about them sharing a meal of gratitude for their survival. Today Thanksgiving is a time of initiation, bringing in the Christmas season, the beginning of a month or more of family gatherings and celebrations. One might go so far as to call the modern culture Thanksgiving “Extreme Thanksgiving.”

We do tend to go to extremes for it, don’t we? Retail starts preparing before Halloween, and sometimes skipping it completely to put up Christmas decorations. That doesn’t stop them from pushing all those delightful Thanksgiving dishes though - anyone who knows anything knows Thanksgiving is all about the food!

Many of us shop early ordering turkey, picking up stuffing, green bean casserole and dessert ingredients. Produce waits until last, so it’s fresh, colorful and ready for over consumption at the table. It’s okay if you don’t bake; there are plenty of restaurants and bakeries selling freshly made pies.

Thanksgiving is really about family, the meal a mere feast to draw them in. Family works together preparing dishes, cleaning and setting up for the fine feast ahead. They play games and catch up on everyone’s news while the turkey cooks. They get wide-eyed with awe when the food is ready for plating and suddenly everything is quiet as the meal is savored and devoured, sometimes to the point of overconsumption.

Getting to the main gathering wasn’t easy. There is travel, often treacherous and expensive, involved. People travel the country over by plane, train and car to be with their loved ones. One festive day is a week long celebration in the United States, where the President pardons a turkey, winter announces itself in the weather and airports deal with their busiest time of the year.

Promptly during and after Thanksgiving, the Christmas season is rushed in with the Thanksgiving Day Macy’s Parade, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Football on Sunday and Cyber Monday. Somehow the actual Thanksgiving Day doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. It’s the day we pause, give thanks and are truly grateful for this great country we live in and all that we are blessed to have here.

I hope yours was as amazing as ours. We took time on Saturday to take my brother to Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. I posted lots of pictures if you’re interested. It’s the second time I’ve hiked the trail - still sore and would do it again in a heartbeat!

Happy Holidays to you and yours this season. Please remember to join us for the 2nd Annual Holiday Food Drive on December 4 - 6. We’ve all been so blessed, it is only right to pay it forward. Thanks for all your help and support!

M. J.

©2014 All Rights Reserved Photo credit: Thanksgiving Greetings, Tammy Sue, Public Domain