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WHAT ARE WE GIVING THANKS TO?

Posted by Tim Bryce on November 20, 2012

BRYCE ON LIFE

– What kind of grace do you give at turkey time?

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)
To use this segment in a Radio broadcast or Podcast, send TIM a request.

One of the reasons I enjoy Thanksgiving is because it is one of the few holidays where we do not have to exchange gifts. We simply get together with family and friends and enjoy the company. Maybe we’ll watch a parade on television or perhaps some football, but it’s the communal experience which I enjoy the most. For some reason, the preparation of the meal is less of a chore and more of a pleasure, probably because we realize it is designed for many people on a special day.

We’re all familiar with the origins of Thanksgiving, that the Pilgrims at Plymouth were thankful to celebrate the harvest at the end of the season. Actually, Thanksgiving traces its roots back to the 1500’s in England. It’s an old custom, and a good one as we would be remiss if we didn’t periodically take time to be thankful for the blessings we have received, be they few or many.

As a child, I was thankful simply to have the clan assemble, which was a rarity as the family was spread out across the country. We would have the meal at my grandmother’s house in Buffalo, New York, and I can distinctly remember the aromatic smells emanating from the kitchen which seemed heavenly. I would get the opportunity to talk with my grandparents, great-grandparents, and aunts and uncles. Everyone was in good spirits and helped as required. Occasionally, a squabble would erupt between family members over some innocuous subject which was quickly quelled and forgotten. If my great-grandfather was in high spirits, he would bring out his fiddle and play a tune from a distant era, much to everyone’s approval. It was interesting to watch the family dynamics, even at an early age. From time to time, I would sneak into the kitchen to check on progress and steal a nibble of something before getting caught. The room was awash in activity; relish trays being garnished with radishes, green onions, celery, and olives; salads being prepared along with appetizer trays consisting of a variety of dips and delicacies; in addition to the turkey and stuffing, there were mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, pearl onions, beets, cranberries, crescent rolls, and at least three different pies for dessert. As a kid, the room was a magical tapestry of smells and delights. It still seems this way to me many years later.

As I got older and moved up the family hierarchy, I learned to assume more responsibility in the preparation of the meal, such as dressing the bird and carving the meat. When we were finally called to the table, we all knew this was a special meal for a special occasion. To me, the Thanksgiving dinner is not complete without grace. As a child, it was always considered an honor to be selected to say the grace before the meal, which should be done with tact and presentation. A lot of kids tend to avoid the limelight of saying grace, but we considered it an essential part of the meal, hence an honor to deliver it on such an auspicious occasion.

As an adult, when I am asked to give the grace, I try to convey the fundamental things that truly affect us, such as:

* That we are thankful of all of the blessings we have, large or small; that we have a roof over our head in these perilous economic times; that we are in good health and remember those who are not.

* That we are thankful to live in a great country, even though we are cognizant it is certainly not perfect. We are thankful for the freedoms we enjoy as defined by the U.S. Constitution.

* That we are thankful for the people who protect and defend our nation; we pray they be protected from harms way.

* That we are thankful that we are all together for this bountiful meal, and to remember those who preceded us as well as those yet to come.

I think the Thanksgiving Prayer written by Samuel F. Pugh covers several of my concerns:

O God, when I have food,
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work,
help me to remember the jobless;
When I have a home,
help me to remember those who have no home at all;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer,
And remembering,
help me to destroy my complacency;
bestir my compassion,
and be concerned enough to help;
By word and deed,
those who cry out for what we take for granted.
Amen.

Then again, as a Scotsman, I may turn to “The Selkirk Grace”:

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae let the Lord be thankit.

Just don’t expect me to pipe in a turkey stuffed with haggis.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M&JB Investment Company (M&JB) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
timbryce.com

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Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

 

NEXT UP:  MAKING BOOK ON YOUR INVESTMENTS – Some fundamental lessons on managing your portfolio.

Listen to Tim on WJTN-AM (News Talk 1240) “The Town Square” with host John Siggins (Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, (12:30-3:00pm).

Also look for Tim’s postings in the Palm Harbor Patch, The Gentlemen’s Association, and throughout the Internet.

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7 Responses to “WHAT ARE WE GIVING THANKS TO?”

  1. Jenn said

    It is one of my favorite holidays but not THE favorite. Christmas will always be my favorite–not because of the presents–but because of the Gift of Salvation given by my Creator. And for me, Christmas is the most humbling day.

    Like

  2. Tim Bryce said

    A B.W. of Macon, Georgia wrote…

    “If I were to count the many things I have been blessed with this year and in my life, the turkey would be consumed and the naps over and I might be finished at sunrise the next morn. Suffice it to say that the Lord has provided as my needs arose, I am warm in heart, body and soul. And I bow my head to give Thanks to the creator who provided it.
    Amen
    Hugs and May God Bless”

    Like

  3. Tim Bryce said

    An S.C. of Holiday, Florida wrote…

    “Thanks for being able to read your wise words, and for having another year of good health. We say thanks when I start it. The younger set just grab a piece of turkey and start eating.

    Happy Thanksgiving from me to you! and the rest of those who read this”

    Like

  4. Tim Bryce said

    A B.H. of New Port Richey, Florida wrote…

    “Happy Thanksgiving Tim… The Selkirk Grace is my favorite coming from Bonnie Scotland. “

    Like

  5. Tim Bryce said

    A K.E. of Sacramento, California wrote…

    “Super beautiful post, Tim!!! “

    Like

  6. Tim Bryce said

    An M.B. of Clearwater, Florida wrote…

    “It sounds like you have a great family, and having one at all is something you can be thankful for.

    I was not allowed to know my family until the older generation of bigots who shunned my parents died off. By then, it was too late to form real bonds, but they are good people and I have a casual relationship with them now. I will never see them again, as they are too far away from me and they don’t celebrate holidays.

    My husband’s family is quite simply a horror show of all the bad traits human beings can possess, with plenty of mental illness thrown in. They are the most stupid, greedy, narrow-minded, evil, and morally reprehensible people I’ve ever had the displeasure of knowing.

    People with families like the ones shown in the holiday ads, don’t realize how much those ads hurt people like me, who have never had that and never will. I feel like crying all through the holidays and I know I’m not alone. Of course, most Americans don’t have that perfect family either, since most families are dysfunctional to some degree, so a lot of us feel cheated and deficient somehow, like everyone else has that perfect family but us. You are indeed very lucky to be in the minority that does have that. Have a great holiday.”

    Like

  7. Tim Bryce said

    A J.S. of Skidway Lake, Michigan wrote…

    “Your reminiscing sparked some happy memories for me, Tim. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday because of the family gathering and the good food. Our family is smaller now, but this year we will give thanks for the sweet memories of those no longer with us. In this time of financial hardship, it is more important than ever to take time to appreciate our blessings and thank God for them.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Tim!”

    Like

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