Thanksgiving: In All Things, Give Thanks!

By Beverly Gadson-Birch

I don’t know about y’all, but with all that is going on in the world today, I am grateful to be alive. I am looking forward to spending some down time with family and friends on Thanksgiving. The citizens of Charleston have just experienced two major mayoral elections—City of Charleston and North Charleston. North Charleston’s election was fraught with irregularities and the City of Charleston experienced a run-off. Then, there’s mounting problems with Charleston County School District. The Board can’t seem to create a fair and functional advanced educational system inclusive of all students. Even with our shortcomings, we still have a lot to be thankful for. Like the old folks would say, “We, too, could have been cut off and gone.”

As heinous as it was, the nine murders at Mother Emanuel are still deeply etched in memories across the nation. Gun violence involving multiple murders has become commonplace. Following the Mother Emanuel incident, multiple murders have occurred in Nevada, Florida and California. While those families are still coping with their loss, Thanksgiving celebration may take on a different meaning.

Senseless murders point to the frailties and uncertainties of life. One moment we are enjoying life and the next minute it’s gone. Be thankful for moments spent with family and friends and everyone around you regardless of race, creed or color. We tend to come together doing tragedies and forget about those that are still living their tragedies.

‘Da nephew and ‘da niece are hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year. I get to kick back and watch football and join in the story telling because I won’t be on kitchen duty. Now, I don’t mean to talk ‘bout nobody but watch out for those family members with big pocketbooks that looks like shopping baskets. They are loaded with plastic bags and ‘luminum foil.

I know Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to gather and enjoy the fellowship but y’all know it’s at least one in the family who thinks Thanksgiving is a time to shop for groceries. After loading up take out containers, that can’t close much like they do at a Chinese buffet, off they go to put them in their car only to make room for more. Thursday ain’t Black Friday. There are no senior discounts for dinner. Y’all ‘scuse my English but Aunt Mae thinks she can pack up dinner for four to go when she only brought a liter bottle of soda. That’s a whopping return for a bottle of soda, don’t you think? Once Aunt Mae packs up, she is the first one out the door never staying behind to help clean up. Although family will be family, you can’t help but love them including the hoarders.

How many of y’all have family members who think they can throw down cooking, but can’t; so, you ask them to bring paper products? Put your hands down! The no cooker in my family is cousin Sausageray. The name has been changed to protect her from humiliation. Last year Sausageray was asked to bring the paper products and got all bent out of shape talkin’ ‘bout y’all think I can’t cook. Think!! No, we know you can’t cook. Since I hosted the dinner last year and not wanting to hurt her feelings, I told her to bring her best dish. Sausageray shows up with a “melon sausage” casserole that no one touched. What in the hamsandwich is a “melon sausage” casserole? Well, at least that’s what it looked like. No one tasted it to know for sure. Are y’all feeling me? The truth is just dat, truth! (Just having some fun…..) So, we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings this year, ‘da nephew and ‘da neice are doing all of the cooking. ‘Da nephew is a chef, so I think we are safe this year.

While holidays are a good time to give thanks and be happy, let’s remember those that are less fortunate. Take the time to share your blessings with others. Invite someone to dinner that might not otherwise have dinner or who may dine alone.

Y’all know I love a good sale, but please don’t call me on Black Friday ‘talkin about girl you just got to come to Dilliards or Stein Mart, no matter what the savings are. My hubby put a padlock on my wallet.

While you are still in Thanksgiving mode, be thankful that even during the worst of times, there are times. Share your blessings with others!

By the way, if y’all see Sausageray, ask her for the recipe for her Melon Sausage Casserole. Happy Thanksgiving y’all!!

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