Thanksgiving is a day of tradition for my family.  The core of the tradition is the gathering of all of our family at our farm outside of Atlanta for “supper” in the early afternoon.  The tradition includes having the television on in the background tuned to the Macy’s Day Parade in the morning and to football in the afternoon.  It includes the smell of the feast being prepared including oyster stuffing, sweet potato casserole, and artichoke and spinach casserole that compliment a turkey of exquisite proportion.  It includes fresh baked pecan and pumpkin pies for dessert.  It includes squeezing more chairs around the dining table than any other day of the year creating a feeling of coziness and community that is unique to the day.

My Thanksgiving tradition also includes a period of reflection and a prayer of thankfulness for the family, food, and freedom with which we have been blessed and never take for granted.   The warmth of those blessings give me pause as I think of those who are missing family, worrying about where their next meal will come from, or living in a part of the world where the freedoms that come with being an American do not exist.  It reminds me of the family and friends that I have lost, and I try to fill the ache of missing them with a gratitude for the time we had together and a deeper appreciation of those around me.

The tradition includes my children’s holiday school projects with drawings and costumes of pilgrims and Native Americans coming together to share a meal.  These are reminders of the diversity of our country and the core compassion I believe most Americans possess.  For me, Thanksgiving is a day of reflection on the past and the sacrifices that those who came before me made to make today possible.  The reflection makes me hopeful for the future, but it most strongly makes me appreciate the present, the meal, the smells, the smiles, the conversations, and the love in the room.

I hope you have a warm and loving Thanksgiving and can pause in the hustle of the world that we live in and enjoy the moment.  In the words of my late friend Sam, “make it a great day!”

Yours,
Michael

Comments 10
Virginia Pridgen 2017-11-21 13:17:57
A great reminder of the true meaning of Thanksgiving and what we have to be thankful for( glad my grammar teacher can’t see me end a sentence with a preposition). Blessings to you and yours!
patti almond 2017-11-21 13:22:44
You had me at farm and artichoke/spinach casserole. Beautiful family,wonderful message.Happy Thanksgiving!
Ethel Wotton 2017-11-21 13:41:35
Well said Michael! Happy Thanksgiving
Judy Patch 2017-11-21 16:09:58
Beautiful message! Thank you for everything you do for us. Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
Michael Crowe 2017-11-22 06:02:39
Thank you, Michael, for a lovely Thanksgiving message.
Lindsey Cheney 2017-11-22 07:45:56
Wonderful message and very well said! Happy Thanksgiving!
June Longino (Wise) 2017-11-22 09:26:32
Thank you for sharing. You and your beautiful family say it all. -Grateful for your example.
Lee Ann Wynns 2017-11-22 09:59:09
Thank you for the wonderful, heartfelt post. Of all my children's past school art projects, the Thanksgiving ones are my favorite. You post reminded me to dig a few of those Thanksgiving treasures to share with my kids who are now in their early 20s.
Nancy DeLany 2017-11-22 13:15:03
Michael, what a beautiful family you have! Thank you for reminding us how truly blessed we all are and for all the many gifts for which we should be grateful. In the words of my Italian father, 'eat well, laugh large and love long!"
Kathy Ghirardini 2017-11-23 11:08:50
Great message, Michael. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.