Thanksgiving may be the holiday whose intent is most easily (and deliciously) drowned in gravy and sweet tea. However, it's important to remember the 'thanks' portion of the Holiday, not only as you sit down to your meal and say grace, but also throughout the day. It's so easy to take for granted the affluent, comfortable, secure lives we live at home, that it sometimes becomes difficult to remember what we have to give thanks for, particularly in challenging times.
So keep in mind while you cook your Turkey with an electric pressure cooker, in your house which is heated by gas, driving your car on smooth roads, passing police who don't care where your license plate came from, to stores with more varieties and brands of cheese than guests you are expecting for dinner—there are few places in the world that a feast such as this is possible. We are blessed enough, even in the hardest times, to live in the country that stands above all others. Every bet was and is against it; but yet it stands.
So for Thanksgiving I will be sharing some stories of Thanksgivings past with my students; both Serbian and Albanian. At the same time I'll be dreaming of a little turkey with a lot of gravy, some potatoes (with a lot of gravy), some oyster casserole (I'd find a way for gravy to make an encore here, too). But most of all I'll be missing the company of the family I share the meal with.
And one other thing is absolutely certain: the fact that I'm spending this Thanksgiving away from my family means that I'll savor next year's with a special relish.
I hope you all eat until it hurts, and don't forget the pumpkin pie!
I love all of you and I can't wait to see you all around Christmas.