Tuesday, December 1, 2009

In The Wake of Thanksgiving

I was talking with my brother the day before Thanksgiving and he mentioned that he was going to a neighbor's to share their turkey dinner. I asked if he bagged the turkey in his somewhat rustic yard and he was horrified.

"I couldn't shoot them," he said. "I feed them every day."

Which just goes to show that there are indeed different strokes for different folks. When I was a kid, one of the book-a-month selections was: Don't Get Personal With a Chicken, a long story about a girl who tamed her chickens and therefore could not stand poultry on her plate. I guess this is about the same thing. Guy is just too soft-hearted to shoot anything anyway.

But turkey is far from the focus fifty years after our childhood. Dad used to stop at the locker plant and pick up a fresh turkey for the holiday and we just stayed home and played games and made cookies and fudge for the rest of the weekend. The holiday was quiet and soothing.

Today the next thing people do after the big dinner is to write out a list of everything they want to purchase for Christmas. Then they get up in the wee small hours of the night in order to stand in line for hours in the cold. This affords them the opportunity to get into the big department stores first, to grab the bargain items (of which there are never enough to go around) and to shop until one dropped - or ran out of money.

Well, back in the day, Dad never bought things the family could not afford, and most of our gifts were clothing. Today, people buy all sorts of things and pay for them the rest of the year - if not the rest of their lives. Credit cards are great thing if one uses them correctly, but way too many of us have at least one experience of over spending that left us wrestling with huge interest charges. At one point I cut up every credit card I had.

Did I go out and brave the storm of shoppers on Black Friday? No indeed. I spent the day pretty much getting over the effort of making a turkey and traveling.

I also spent some time thinking about all the good things that have come to me over the years. It was a good day and a good year since the last Thanksgiving feast. I hope yours was good too.


Terry L White -Author of the Chesapeake Heritage Series
"Travel Through Time With Terry"

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