Luckily, the bird flu didn’t affect our region too badly, so I’m pretty sure we’ll manage to get a tasty gobbler on the table, and I’m hoping that, in the end, all of you will too – unless, of course, you opt for ham, salmon or some other palate pleasing delight.
Either way, please don’t let a vain bird, or any other main dish, steal the center stage. As Christian families, one of the best favors we can do for our kids during November is to remind them that Thanksgiving is meant above all to be a feast for the soul.
This year, Thanksgiving happens to fall on November 26th, the same date as the Thanksgiving feast George Washington proclaimed in 1789. Today, 226 years later, we don’t know what kind of pie George Washington had for desert that day, but we do know why he proclaimed the holiday, and that it had a distinctly Christian flavor: “Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being (…) that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country…” (Issued by George Washington on October 3, 1789).
The centrality of the Mass in first Florida Thanksgiving highlights another significant reality: the liturgy gives us a constant reason to be grateful. “Eucharist” comes from the Greek eukharistia, meaning “thanksgiving” or “gratitude”. Beginning Thanksgiving Day with Mass is a very appropriate way of honoring the holiday and remembering the central role gratitude should play in the life of every Christian.
A friend of mine in high school always amused me by refusing to put salt on her food until after she’d sprinkled pepper. She insisted that if she put the pepper on first, she could see the grains of salt on top, but if she put the salt on first, the grains were too tiny and transparent, so she couldn’t see them.
I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving – the best one yet. Have fun with family and friends. Watch football if you like. Enjoy your gobbler. But please –put the pepper on first and teach your kids, or grandkids, to do the same.
* Don’t forget to make your Thanksgiving table festive with these free Thanksgiving printables.