November 1, 2010


Halloween has passed and Thanksgiving looms ahead. The magazines coming in through my mail slot are ablaze with pictures of turkey dinners and a variety of pies. I can feel my mouth water as I turn the pages. I don’t cook these foods for myself. I’ve already confessed my aversion to my stove (Blog: 9/23/2010). But I like to look at the pictures so reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell painting. 

In this delicious season, I wonder why so little is written about it. “Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving comes to mind, but I confess, I can’t remember much else. An Internet search turns up a few children’s stories, and I discovered Truman Capote has penned “The Thanksgiving Visitor” which I’ve never read it but now I will.

Still, there’s no contest between the holidays when it comes to literature.  December makes one think of Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” or O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi” orDylan Thomas’ “A Child’s Christmas in Wales….”

I’m not sure why the disparity exists. Certainly, retailers do little to promote Thanksgiving. I could get cynical and suggest it’s because no gifts are involved.   We shoppers know how they rush the calendar, setting Christmas trees beside the pumpkins. It doesn’t seem fair to the November season.

This year celebrating Thanksgiving may seem naïve. We’re a country ensnared in two wars, millions of people are out of work or underemployed; too many of our veterans live on the streets and the greed of our economic and political leaders is a national scandal. Yet we have seen these bottoms before and have emerged stronger. We will again because of a gift our forefathers gave to us centuries ago. It didn’t come with silver wrapping and a silver bow and we won’t find it under any tree. But it is precious nonetheless: an idea imbedded in our Declaration of Impendence — that people have a right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. The gift was revolutionary at the time but has become our national heritage. When we honor it, we stand strong. When we honor it we have more than hope; we have justice.

I think someone should write a Thanksgiving story about that.  Or maybe I just did.