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By Tamara November 07

Bring Back Thanksgiving

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It is truly fall in our part of the country and most of the neighbors’ trees on both sides of the fence have dropped their leaves on MY SIDE. This means I am continually in the yard, in between rain and windstorms, trying to stay ahead of the mess. My back aches, and I’ve discovered muscles I haven’t used since last year at this same time. But should I complain—I think not. I am in relative good health, and know that soon I will be residing with my dear spouse in Arizona, gazing out on a rock yard with cacti and trees that are indigenous to the land and hot dry climate of the southwest. Ah, no more dragging hoses, and constantly mowing and trimming—a retiree’s dream come true!

THANKSGIVING! The mere holiday title brings back memories that give me both goose bumps and warm feelings of hearth and home.
I can smell the turkey…Mom would rise at 4:30 a.m., to baste, stuff, and put the bird in the oven so it would surely be done by late afternoon when close relatives (of which there were many) would gather at our house. They each brought their own favorite fixin’s to add to the glorious Thanksgiving dinner we all looked forward to each year. Besides turkey, there were breaded-tomatoes, home baked rolls, applesauce, cranberries, mashed potatoes and gravy, fruit salad, cheese stuffed celery, mincemeat and pumpkin pies with rich whipped cream topping, and much more. The smells were beyond description but I can still recall them to my senses with one whiff of reminiscence.
Family meant everything in those days and we were all happy to be together, sheltered from cold and hunger. We kids were deliriously reunited again to play fun games, and laugh till our sides hurt. Parents visited and reminisced with our same sense of abandon, and all seemed well in our world. And yes, we gave thanks to our Heavenly Father before one fork was raised when at last the adults were seated ‘round our big table, and we kids sat at a secondary table with every kind of substitute for chairs, including apple boxes with catalogs stacked under little ones.
It truly was an end to harvest time when equipment was stored for the winter, leaves were raked, and gardens plowed under. Feed was stored for the animals, and fruits, jams, vegetables, and meats were preserved for our winter-feeding. It was a quiet time to settle in as the first snowflakes came tumbling down to cleanse the earth.

But what happened to our traditional Thanksgiving in America?
Yes, I agree, in this case we should have followed the Canadians in our time of celebration—early October would suit me and probably most I’ve talked to on this subject much better, but we didn’t choose that date and so here we are again trying to wedge Thanksgiving in between Halloween (which has become a much BIGGER holiday these days than it was in my childhood) and Christmas.
I blame it on commercialism! There, I’ve said it, and I feel better!!!
Christmas lights, wrap, and assorted trees and gifts are being put on shelves in late August before school shopping is even done, and Halloween has become such a partier’s dream of food, drink, and costuming, it is now the second largest money grossing holiday for retail stores in America. Go figure! Christmas still ranks first.
Could it be Devil worship and goblins have overshadowed a time to sit back and thank God for our blessing in the harvesting of food and comforts He provides for us here in America and around the world?  Is it just one more nail in the coffin to try and stifle any Christian beliefs and traditions? Every year we see more protests and restrictions on anything relating to Christianity whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, or in our schools. Or is it that we take so much of our worth and blessings for granted that we don’t want to spend time saying THANK YOU to the one providing it?
I think we have become too lazy and thankless as a nation to remember what this great November holiday represents. But I haven’t forgotten, nor will I ever forget since I came from a hardscrabble background where we all pitched in together at harvest time in order to survive, and prayed regularly that our crops wouldn’t fail, and health and well-being would be granted.
I recognize how much I have been given, and humbly cannot believe I actually have such bounty in my life. Don’t get me wrong—I’m just as spoiled as the rest of America, and I forget where it REALLY comes from sometimes, too.
We must remember—Blessings and riches aren’t any of OUR doing, and we would have no great abilities unless God gave us talents and gifts we hopefully should be using to glorify Him in the first place!  Now let’s think about that when it comes time to bow our heads over that big ol’ turkey or ham this Thanksgiving, ok? And don’t forget to ask for God’s grace and protection for those brave soldiers fighting in our stead overseas to keep this “THE LAND OF THE FREE!”

Granny Tam

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Here’s a Thanksgiving poem I conjured up this year just for you…

Thanksgiving acorn bar


Thanksgiving acorn bar

Where has my Thanksgiving gone—
the food, the fun, the joyful song?
I need it back before too long…

Memories of Thanksgiving time,
of God and family, a place to dine,
are all mixed up inside of me
for in later life I cannot see
the true tradition coming thru’
of joy, and fun, time off from school,
of company sleeping in each bed
after thanksgiving prayers were said,
of decorating our Christmas tree
the morning after, filled with glee,
and seeing lazy snowflakes fall
thru’ barren tree limbs standing tall
out glistening windows covered in frost,
knowing love was never lost
on those who bow on bended knee
to give the glory back to He
who gives all things—each breath we take,
so say “Thank You Lord, for Heavens sake!

Pilgrams giving thanks

Tamara Hillman




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