Thursday is Thanksgiving, that uniquely American holiday that falls between Memorial Day and Christmas. It is a celebration of the arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock in 1642 and, with the help of the Native Americans, survived a perilous and deadly winter.
These folks felt it necessary to give thanks for their survival, thus giving birth to an national tradition. Now, this is the grade school history version of the story and it was really much more complicated than that. It is certain that if those poor Native Americans could have seen down the road about 250 years, they may have been less willing to share the secret of planting dead fish with the crops and the recipe for succotash.
Anyway, regardless of the details, Thanksgiving evolved into a time for the smells of spices to fill the house. It is a time for families to get together and be, well, thankful for such things as parades, turkey, stuffing, gelatinous cranberries, pumpkin pie and professional football. It is a time for tryptophan-induced comas and naps in the recliner.
At its core, it is the holiday of fall and a celebration of blessings received and blessings to come.
Sadly, however, it gets lost in the mad rush to Christmas. Worse yet, it gets overlooked in the frenzy leading up to Black Friday, an annual celebration of all things commercial.
Please, this year, take a step back, relax and enjoy Thanksgiving. It will be a welcome respite before the rest of the holiday season begins its assault.