Not Turkey Day
To my knowledge, everyone I know has one or more pet peeves. Unfortunately, I suppose, I am one of those possessing multiple pet peeves. Among mine is referencing Thanksgiving Day as Turkey Day.
To me, calling Thanksgiving Turkey Day is to denigrate the day, to treat it too casually. Yes, I hope to eat turkey Thursday, but the family meal being planned is not in honor of or celebration of a turkey. It is an occasion of thanksgiving. Turkey just happens to be the traditional meat for the meal.
Regardless of the historical version you accept concerning the origin or beginning of Thanksgiving, to me it is an occasion with clear religious overtones and a sense of reverence and thanksgiving not associated with the off-handed terminology Turkey Day.
Most Christians share the view that Thanksgiving has its roots in a time of shared celebration by the Pilgrims and Indians to express thankfulness to God for the harvest and other blessings. In line with that viewpoint, my view of Thanksgiving is that it is a time of thankfulness.
My personal conviction is that I owe my thankfulness to God. He blessed me with certain skills to make a living, provide for my family, and make what I hope has been a positive contribution to society. I thank Him for my wife and family. The things for which I am thankful are too numerous to list in this short commentary.
When I look around and see all that is transpiring in our country and in the world, it would be easy to have a spirit other than one of thankfulness. But, I choose on this day to focus my thoughts on being thankful. I desire to have a spirit of thankfulness in my day-to-day living, but I recognize that I don’t always exhibit such a spirit.
Turkey, by tradition, will be the meat around which our family Thanksgiving meal is shared, and, also by tradition, I will be the one donning an apron and carving the turkey. I’m not sure how it came to be that I am the one to carve; but somehow it became the expectation.
Compared to many years past, the family gathering this Thanksgiving will be small. Children and grandchildren have grown up and left the nest. They now have families of their own and each is also part of yet another family. So, they will not be here to be part of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. In addition, some will be absent because they are deceased. Nonetheless, there will be a gathering at the home of my 96-year-old mother-in-law, better known as Grandma’s House (Ggma’s, the great grandkids say).
When the turkey has been carved and food placed on the table, we’ll be seated and a prayer of thanksgiving will be offered.
It will be Thanksgiving Day, not Turkey Day.