In the spirit of Thanksgiving
The holiday season is once again upon us and every year we celebrate and give thanks for all the good in our life. We try to spend as much time with our family as we can and during the holidays it is a wonderful opportunity because that is when we have the most time with our family. It is a joy to spend happy occasions together and share in the true spirit and wonder of the holidays. Thanksgiving is a day that has always been a treasured holiday as I remember so many happy festive celebrations and images of family gathered together at the table all sharing in the holiday joy and surrounded with so much food including the prized turkey and all the trimmings of mashed potatoes, stuffing, candied potatoes, butternut squash, creamed spinach, cranberry sauce, corn, biscuits, string beans, sweet peas and deserts such as pumpkin pie, pecan pie, coconut custard, apple pie and ice cream. I also enjoy my favorite holiday drinks of egg nog and apple cider which are always plentiful during this time of the year. As we sit gathered at the table we share a prayer to say thanks and to express our gratitude and appreciation of being with family and good friends with an abundance of food.
As a child growing up I remember when my mom would prepare the Thanksgiving meal and how she would spend hours in the kitchen in preparation of the family feast. I remember this with fondness and it makes me smile and feel happy as if I was the little boy again. Thanksgiving is a time when we reflect and realize the importance of family and good friends. We are reminded also that we should always be grateful and thankful for all we have and we should always respect others and reach out to help and comfort those in need.
The memories are always there of the past family celebrations and now that I have a family of my own I am very happy to spend Thanksgiving with my wife and son as they are the two most important people in my life. This Thanksgiving was a quiet time at home with the immediate family and Maria and her mom cooked the turkey and made all the trimmings that I remember having as a kid when my mom made the feast. Our son Matty has a very fussy way with his eating habits and since he has sensitivity to texture and smell he does not eat what we do as a family. His Thanksgiving dinner by his choice consisted of mashed potatoes, milk and a cup of grape juice. We tried to introduce him to stuffing, cranberry sauce and a sliver of turkey but he refused. He had 3 helpings of mashed potatoes and he was full after his 3rd portion. I hope one day he will expand his choices in foods and have a full Thanksgiving meal of Turkey with all the trimmings.
This Thanksgiving I was touched by a woman shopping at the supermarket with her 3 kids the night before the holiday. I was at the supermarket shopping for our festive dinner with a list prepared by my wife, son and mother-in-law. As I started my shopping the woman approached me and she seemed sad and in need of help. She asked me if I could help her by assisting her in buying her groceries intended for their family's Thanksgiving meal. Her husband is ill and she has 3 young children. I felt for her as she related her story to me and felt I should help her in some way. She went to select a turkey and she placed it in her cart and she came over to me with it. She had carefully selected what she needed to delight her children and provide them a healthy holiday meal. I told her that I would help her and we went to the checkout to pay for her selection. As I paid she offered me some money but I said it was okay and told her to keep it. She was so grateful for my help. I wished her well and told her to have faith and I wished her family well and for them to have a Happy Thanksgiving.
As we sat at the table and said our prayers we ate and were grateful for being together and we talked about the true meaning of Thanksgiving. I asked my son if he knew the historical significance of the holiday and he related the story of the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock in 1620 where they gathered with the Indians who inhabited the land for a festive celebration. I acknowledged his recollection and commended him for relating the story with accuracy of the historical facts. I also told him that the spirit and friendship of the Pilgrims and the Indians coming together those many years ago are rekindled each year in our recognition of their historical gathering as we celebrate this holiday.
Another thing we like in celebrating Thanksgiving is sharing in the festive atmosphere of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Even if we don't venture into the city to see the parade we still like to see it on television. Another program we enjoy watching are the Peanut specials such as The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and the Thanksgiving special. Those are special shows we always enjoy at the holidays.
I asked my son what he is thankful for and he indicated that he is thankful for his family, his friends, the love we hold, the times we share together, the places we visit, the encouragement we provide, the food he likes and the opportunity to go to school. I told him that we all should always try our best and we should always respect others and always look at the good in everything and be grateful for all we have, be close to God and to always lend a helping hand to others. This is what Thanksgiving is all about.
Edward D. Iannielli III
Helped by Matty Iannielli
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