Shnay: Plenty of ‘thanks’ to go around
By Jerry Shnay Citizen Journalistemail@example.com November 15, 2012 2:36PM
Thanksgiving is a day for family, friends and, of course, lots of turkey. | File Photo
Updated: December 19, 2012 10:47AM
Each year Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month, and every 11 years or so it falls on Nov. 22, the earliest date it can occur.
So an early holiday this year is a good reason to be thankful.
Thanksgiving probably is the only holiday on the calendar that crosses all boundaries in a celebration of friendship and family. There is no Democratic or Republican Thanksgiving; no Catholic, Protestant, Muslim or Jewish Thanksgiving. There is no doctrine for pumpkin pie.
Fine china and crystal glasses are as one with paper plates and coffee mugs. Turkey and stuffing cross all barriers. We celebrate Thanksgiving as a nation, but each of us rejoices in our own way with family and friends.
That’s another reason to be thankful.
There will be six at our table for Thanksgiving: my wife and I; our son and daughter-in-law; and our grandson and his friend. Three at our feast are vegetarians, so there will be more turkey for us carnivores.
Thank you again!
All of us have our own family traditions. In our house the television set is turned off that day. Family comes before football. When we finally turn on the “telly” we realize the election is over and there are no more repellent political ads on the box.
Thank you again and again!
For a long time, longer than one wants to remember, we’ve said our own kind of grace; a Robert Burns poem that says some have meat but cannot eat, and some can eat but have no food. But we have meat and we can eat, so let the Lord be thanked.
It is good that we can sit and eat in our home with our family, but we should also remember that because of Hurricane Sandy, there are thousands of people who will not be able to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner; people who have no warmth of home and little joy of shared fellowship.
There also are others who always are without shelter and have little food to eat. To them Thanksgiving can be just another long, homeless day.
Thanksgiving may be a time to give as well as share.
What would it cost to set one more plate at your holiday table? Calculate the price for those extra slices of turkey. Estimate the cost of those second helpings of potatoes and gravy. Evaluate that slice of pie now wrapped in foil. Establish the value of the heat used in cooking the feast. Then throw in a little more to account for the spirit of the day.
What can be budgeted for warmth and companionship? Add it up and donate it to any of those worthy services that care for those who need care of both body and mind.
Charles Dickens and the Bible addressed needs of body and soul.
You surely know the story of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” Miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is shown the error of his ways by three spirits; Christmas past, Christmas present and Christmas future. It is in the present that Scrooge encounters two emaciated children clinging to the robes of the spirit. The boy is “ignorance,” and the girl is “want.”
“Beware them both and all of their degree,” says the spirit, “but most of all beware the boy.”
And whether you believe or not, the words in Leviticus should be noted:
“When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the stranger.”
Have a happy holiday.