Readers in the United States — this one’s for you.
Do you have an opinion on the Norman Rockwell Freedom from Want?
The highlights: Three generations at the table, the eldest couple clearly in charge: he wears a suit, she has an apron over a dress. Fruit, a large covered dish, and small side dishes are on the table before “Grandma” lowers the turkey on a platter. You can only see faces/heads/partials of the family — all are well-groomed and smiling.
Does this look like your family? Do you recall portions of this happening during your childhood?
It may have been Thanksgiving — or a Sunday — I do remember a chaotic day with lots of relatives and food (I believe mother had to tie the oven shut because the turkey was too large). We had three generations in the house. Mother, not grandmother, was in charge. Consistent with her personality — she asked for and got assistance from others in her generation. Noise, food, people, and music probably burst out of our brick house on Main Street.
Later, when I was a teen and college student, the Thanksgiving feast was held with good friends and alternated between the homes. Lots of food, conversation, and fun. The deer hunters — yes, the season often overlapped with the holiday — took a few hours off.
After marriage, I lived many miles away from family, therefore we celebrated with friends, neighbors, or perhaps drove an hour to an Aunt & Uncle. My career (in health care) required working the day about half the years. Good planning permitted a bit of feasting and fun later in the day — after work. But please — spare the hours of preparation for the traditional meal — and the nuclear family was more comfortable after a busy shift.
What takes center stage at your Thanksgiving? Church service? Food? Football? Family & friends (or friendly family)? Shopping? Phone or video calls with loved ones far away?
However you choose to mark the day —
Tom, and his family, suggest a menu more in line with the 1621 celebration — venison, fish, and cornbread.
May your Blessings be Abundant!