Sam Cook: Why this holiday is the bestMy wife and I were talking about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday the other day.
By: Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune
My wife and I were talking about the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday the other day.
“Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday,” she said.
I think she’s right. Here’s why:
For starters, Thursday — What a great concept in a holiday, and one that no other holiday has seemed to figure out. It’s always on Thursday. If you can swing it, you take Friday off to aid in digestion and you’ve got a clean four-day weekend. You can use that time to make venison sausage with the clan or just languish around grandma’s place reading and drinking tea. Technically, you wouldn’t have to get out of your jammies for four days straight. Thursday. Those pilgrims were thinking.
No school pageants, shopping, lights, dead trees or office parties — This is where Thanksgiving really shows its colors. It comes with no related frivolity. No lights to string, no nativity scenes to erect, no dead trees to decorate, no school programs, no caroling, no weeks in advance that fill up with holiday gatherings, each of which taken alone is a good thing, but when stacked together suck the last atom of glucose from your bloodstream. Not Thanksgiving. It’s a day, not a season. Just you and the bird and the loved ones.
Over the river and through the woods — Yes, most of us go to grandma’s. It was easier when grandma lived just the other side of the river and you got there on the buckboard, but even migrating out of the city with the great exodus, when you open the door at grandma’s and smell the roasting fowl and the pumpkin pie, you know it’s all worth it. You’ve come home.
The floors still creak just right and your old high school photos are still on display and doesn’t that just warm your tired travelin’ bones? Well, I should think so. Grandpa will take your coat, and you just come right back to the kitchen table where you used to do your homework and sit down and tell us all about yourself.
And, finally, there is the …
Eating — So simple. So self-indulgent. So delicious. William Bradford and the original crew had it all figured out. They needed a meal that would go well with cranberries, and they came up with one. The least we can do is carry on the tradition. The only difference now is that our turkeys are born with those little plastic thermometers embedded in their breasts.
Oh, yeah — Let’s not forget. This is the one holiday of the year devoted simply to saying “thanks.” The pilgrims were saying thanks to the American Indians, without whose help they might not have survived. We’re still saying thanks for the same basic things. Food. Clothing. Warm homes. Good friends to help us along the way.
If things are good for us, we try to help others. Then they’ll have more to be thankful about, and the helping idea gets passed around.
Just like the mashed potatoes.
Sam Cook is a Duluth News Tribune columnist and outdoors writer. Reach him at (218) 723-5332 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at “samcookoutdoors.”