Well here it is, the day I wait for each and every year – Thanksgiving Day.
Just about everything we think about reflects back to days gone by and I’m no different. When looking back on holidays, it usually brings out good feelings and memories. After all, what’s the best thing in our lifetime — our childhood holidays.
I love looking back to when I was growing up with my parents in their prime and families intact. My extended family was alive and well like my grandparents, uncles, aunts and even great uncles and aunts. I was fortunate enough to know my great grandmother until I was 7 years old.
Holidays always brought family and friends together as I was growing up. It seemed like we did a lot of visiting with other relatives back then. I don’t believe that happens as much these days.
As a society, the world has gotten smaller due to technology and we are so spread out as families. There are more and more sports available to play and many have traveling squads; therefore, parents are constantly driving their children to practices and games.
Young adults are afforded more opportunities regarding education and many leave the area for schooling.
For adults, it’s more commonplace for someone to work through a weekend than it used to be with weekends off.
Downtime seems to be something we don’t have much of these days. I always say, I get up on Monday morning and when I go to bed, it’s Friday night. Where does the week go?
Forget weekends. You’re playing catch up on what you missed during the week that weekends fly by.
There isn’t much room for family, friends or any kind of social life.
The thing about Thanksgiving is, it’s a holiday that brings family together. It’s a day off from work, for most; the kids come home from college, family and friends living away make the trip home and take advantage of the 4-day weekend.
Thanksgiving is about food, relaxing, laughing and being in a nice cozy, warm home with your family and friends.
My mother always made sure she put out a nice spread for Thanksgiving. Decorating our home for the fall feast was the norm. Her best dishware was set on the table along with the “good” silverware and cloth napkins.
The aroma of turkey was magnificent, along with other delights she prepared. Homemade pies were baked and ready to be devoured.
Before company arrived for the bountiful feast, the morning was filled with parades on TV like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The big man, Santa, would arrive at the end of the parade.
Every Thanksgiving meal began with ravioli or, occasionally, lasagna. What Italian home wouldn’t have such a homemade delight like pasta? We would always gorge on the ravioli that there was hardly room for turkey, but we would forge on.
Following the pasta was pretty much your typical Thanksgiving dinner: turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce.
You’d top all that off with homemade pies like pumpkin, apple or lemon meringue.
After all of that, you’d waddle to the nearest couch or chair and begin to digest.
Everyone has their own Thanksgiving memory and maybe some of you have similar events like mine and some of you have totally different stories.
There are families that love to go out and eat their big meal at a restaurant. Hey, no fuss, no muss, the kitchen is clean and there are no dishes to clean. I know a local family that did that for many years. I’d miss the days and days of leftovers.
For several years in my childhood, the cross-town rivalry football game between Pittston Area and Wyoming Area would take place and our meal was predicated around that. Many of those Thanksgiving games were held under frigid conditions and, for some reason, that made the hot meal taste even better.
Even though the Thanksgiving Day game is no longer held between the two schools, that very encounter is celebrated on many area ballfields where Turkey Bowl games feature touch football games and, sometimes, even tackle games. Some traditions are hard to break.
If you miss that yearly Thanksgiving contest, fear not, there will be pro games to watch as you’re digesting.
No matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving, I, along with the entire Sunday Dispatch staff, wish you a great holiday today with family and friends.
Quote of the week
“Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not a coincidence.” – Erma Bombeck, American humorist
Thought of the week
“An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day.” – Irv Kupcinet, American talk show host
“Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be in my pants.” – Kevin James, American comic