Just as Christmas is not "just Christmas", but a panorama of all the Christmases of your lifetime, Thanksgiving Day is not just a day that falls on the fourth Thursday of the month. Thanksgiving is a celebration of all your Thanksgivings past. From the moment you commit to lugging a 20 pound bird from the grocery freezer to home, you're immersed in memories of every Thanksgiving of your life, every food laden table that you've sat down to, every family fight over a turkey leg or a wishbone, every loved one you've ever shared Thanksgiving with.
Thanksgiving is to unashamedly eat until you are as stuffed as the turkey...without a care about calories or cholesterol. And, on those rare occasions when either Dallas or Detroit has a decent team, you might even enjoy the Turkey Day football game....between long "tryptophan" naps...that natural sleep aid in the bird that causes you to snore and slobber with pumpkin pie breath while lounging in the middle of the living room floor.
But Thanksgiving is also about taking a moment to be thankful for what we have, no matter how humble our home, or the year our dinner wine was bottled.
And it should also be a reminder of how much this country has given of her bounty. We have fed and medicated much of the world for nearly a century now. We have given the gift of freedom to tens of millions of the world's people. And, thank God, even these days, millions of Americans will fan out into their communities, and serve Thanksgiving dinners in homeless shelters (and wash the pans after)...millions more will deliver Turkey dinner boxes to homes who might be without a dinner otherwise. So, we should be thankful that there exists, even in our current societal turmoil, deep goodness in millions of hearts.
And, happily, from the first scent of sage from the kitchen, our memories travel back in time when we shared the holidays with our dearest ones....family and friends now departed, or those too far away to travel home for the holiday.
And let's not forget the thousands of our military who are deployed on foreign soil for this holiday. Let's remember them, and be thankful for them. We need not feel too sorry for them, though. I've sat for Thanksgiving dinner in a chow hall with a thousand men and the spirit of the holiday still reigns supreme, even that far from home...because we were sharing dinner with a thousand "brothers". Whether is it Turkey Dinner with all the trimmings, or Turkey Tetrazini in a chemically heated foil pouch on a craggy outreach in Afghanistan, we always knew to be thankful to be an American.