Thanksgiving can be a special, memorable dayThanksgiving always brings back a lot of memories in my life. There is something about the holiday that brings a warm feeling within – it’s the sort of holiday that has a lot of sincerity!
By: Doug Stohlberg, Hudson Star-Observer
Thanksgiving always brings back a lot of memories in my life. There is something about the holiday that brings a warm feeling within – it’s the sort of holiday that has a lot of sincerity!
As a kid, it was always a time to get together with relatives. I can still remember the smell of food coming from the kitchen in our home, or the kitchen of my grandparents’ home. I’m sure time has tainted my memory to some degree, but those Thanksgiving meals included some of the tastiest, moist turkey dinners that ever were served on a dining room table!
As a kid, I often did something that became very popular later in history. For one reason or another, my mother and I would often go to downtown St. Paul on the Friday after Thanksgiving. This was probably in the early 1960s, so I’m sure it was before the “Black Friday” concept became popular. I think it had more to do with her having a day off work and meeting with dad who worked at Brown and Bigelow in St. Paul. But, I do remember going to a couple of stores, including one of my favorite stops – the old Woodcraft Hobby store in downtown St. Paul.
Thanksgiving itself, also meant a day of fun. After Thanksgiving dinner, the day included playing games, with not only my cousins, but other adults – a treat indeed for a youngster.
I’m sure my memory is a bit fuzzy, but it seems like the first snowstorm always came right around Thanksgiving – our first slide on the hill seemed to come on Thanksgiving weekend.
Of course, the snow thing has been true in more recent years also. Many remember the 1991 Halloween blizzard – an almost equally big storm hit the afternoon on the Friday after Thanksgiving. We were stranded at my sister’s house in White Bear Lake that Friday night. Oddly enough, those two gigantic storms in 1991 were the highlights of the snow season – very little snow fell the rest of the winter. On that Thanksgiving weekend, however, the snowbanks were indeed impressive.
Another thing that struck me as a kid was that there was never any talk of Christmas before Thanksgiving. In fact, Thanksgiving was sort of the turning point – it was okay to openly talk about Christmas after Thanksgiving had passed.
When I was quite young, I remember my uncle coming into the house on Thanksgiving night and proclaiming that he had just seen Santa’s sleigh navigating across the sky behind our house – for a kid that’s an energy-filled start to the Christmas season!
As I look back over the years, I have fond memories of Thanksgivings. As a kid, you couldn’t have experienced anything much better. As I got older and started to have children of my own, my wife and I carried on the traditions we had learned as kids. That opened up new adventures for us also as the kids became part of old and new traditions. Now we have a grandchild that has entered the picture so we have a new phase of traditions and new lives on which to leave impressions and memories.
The one thing that has never changed over the years, however, is the feeling that this was a great family holiday. Growing up, I had no idea if my family was rich, poor or somewhere in the middle. What I did know, was that there were a lot of relatives who cared about each other and wanted to share joy, fellowship and fun with each other.
This week – give thanks. In fact, being thankful should be a daily activity.
Someone once said that being thankful is simply that act of stopping, noticing and acknowledging what we see around us. We don’t need a holiday to tell us when to be thankful or when to be nice to the people around us.
Secondly, if possible, enjoy the holiday with the people who matter in your life – make it a day of fellowship that will leave an impression on all involved.
Our time on earth is relatively short. Don’t march though time and regret that you didn’t express gratitude or say what you wanted to say to relatives, friends and neighbors. Don’t march through life complaining about unimportant items and events.
Use Thanksgiving to create memories for the other people who are important in your life.