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Where Did All the Turkeys Go?

     It's the first week of November. The elf with the red pointy cap behind the counter at Starbucks smiles and asks his customer, "Can I help you?"

     "Christmas already?" the customer asks as a short reindeer-capped employee hustles behind the pointy-capped elf. All the employees are in merry red Christmas T-shirts.

     "Where did all the turkeys go?" I want to ask. "Where is Thanksgiving?" It's as if it's sunk into a deep sinkhole. Around town you'd never know Thanksgiving's in the air. No turkeys, no pilgrims, no giving thanks. Even before Halloween Christmas displays rose up in the stores.

     Rite-Aid's seasonal aisles had Halloween ghosts and skeletons staring across the aisle at Santas, snowmen and holiday wreaths. Dixieline spotlighted huge shining stars and inflated Christmas trees with colorful revolving lights. Not a turkey in sight! Remember when the stores used to post school-kids' pictures of turkeys with their handprint making the body and colorful tail feathers?

     I know things are bad these days and we do need a little Christmas spirit—well, actually a LOT of Christmas spirit—but how about Thanksgiving? There are, after all, a few things to be thankful for and maybe giving thanks would soften the hearts of—okay, I'm going to say it—the politicians. And their followers and that would be us.

     So I'm all for bringing Thanksgiving back and putting it squarely between Halloween and Christmas where it belongs, as long as the turkeys don't drown out the early Christmas carols with their gobble, gobble, gobbles. There will have been time for the full tummies of the trick-or-treaters to empty out, making room for turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy and—ahhh!!! the stuffing, the only reason for Thanksgiving more important than the giving of thanks.  

     Okay. Giving thanks is a whole lot more important than eating stuffing and remembering what it is we're so thankful for is up there above eating a humongous meal with family and friends and having to wait an hour or so to make room for the pumpkin pie.

     Maybe department stores and online shops should develop a Thanksgiving line. Commercialization is the key to remembering these days. Buy your turkey online! Shipped free! Add side dishes for a discount. Don't forget the Thanksgiving table runner. See our newest Thanksgiving item: a turkey-shaped box with empty post-its to write your thanks on; turkey tail-feathers for Starbucks baristas to wear between Halloween and Christmas; a talking, squawking turkey that waddles around the table to amuse the toddlers. The possibilities are endless if only Christmas didn't invade the stores well before Halloween has even started.

     Thanksgiving is our American tradition. How could it be dismissed so easily? We need a Thanksgiving revolt, a Turkey Resistance Force. Family and friends gathering for turkey dinners with golden yams topped with broiled marshmallows, potatoes mashed to a homemade lumpy pile, blood-red cranberry sauce, stuffing with onions and celery, stuffing without onions and celery, dark meat and white meat, green salad, soft rolls…

     Turkey dinners at the homeless shelters, turkey dinner at your favorite Thanksgiving restaurant—no fuss, no muss, no bother. No leftovers, either. Hmmm… But above it all and before the meal—and hopefully every day after that—thanksgiving from each and every one of us for each and everything in our lives that brings us joy and love and peace.


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