Let Us Be Truly Thankful for Family, Friends and Community

A Thanksgiving Message

from the Fernandina Observer

November 24, 2021




“Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmother’s house we go …”  

Remember singing that song from the back seat of the Ford as Dad put on a happy face driving to Mom’s parents’ for another family Thanksgiving?  We kids were excited at the thought of playing with our cousins and hoping to shake off adult supervision for a while after dinner, when the men adjourned to watch football, and the women cleaned up the kitchen.

For many Americans, holiday family gatherings will resume this year, now that fears of covid have receded.  Ah, those wonderful memories that we all cherish from our childhoods and captured so well in this Norman Rockwell painting.

Forgotten are the times that the turkey never thawed on time, Uncle Joe was late (again), Mom lost her wedding ring while making the stuffing, kids fighting over the wishbone, and Grampa settled down with his friend Jack Daniels to ignore all the chaos.  Ah yes, those were the days.

Can we recapture those golden times when hatchets were buried (at least temporarily), compliments outnumbered criticisms, and the joy of family meant more than just a line from a Hallmark card?  Or has the state of our nation replaced those Norman Rockwell moments with hostilities that have transformed what should be times of love and laughter into flashbacks of the Hatfields and the McCoys?

We at the Fernandina Observer wish you a safe, healthy and peaceful Thanksgiving holiday free from politics, conspiracy theories and social media.  May we put aside our disagreements, criticisms, sarcasm and litanies of past grievances.  

Let’s try to have one day when the biggest decisions facing us are white meat or dark; pumpkin or minced pie; the Detroit Lions or the Chicago Bears.

Let’s make this a memorable holiday for all the right reasons.

No holiday in all our calendar is comparable to Thanksgiving… It is the great holiday of common people who have worked all the year and now thank God humbly for good harvests. We are not celebrating Washington or Columbus or the Declaration of Independence — but just the true, good things, the simple blessings of the soil and the common life… Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace: the celebration of work and the simple life… it is undoubtedly the most American of all our holidays… Even the food… there is scarcely a dish on this table that is not peculiar to America... ~David Grayson (Ray Stannard Baker), “We Are Thankful,” Adventures in Understanding, 1925

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