ThanksgivingNovember 27th, 2008 at 1:42 am by woodtv under Uncategorized
My youngest child, a sophomore in college now, has always said Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday. I couldn’t understand that before, because as a kid, I couldn’t wait for the next Christmas, counting the days from December 26th on. But as an empty nester, I now see what my son sees.
I see all four of my children coming home, coming together for the first time since summer vacation, their first break from the routine that began when school started up in August. My kids are in colleges and law school and working fulltime. They have always been close siblings and they look forward to seeing each other as much as Mom and Dad look forward to seeing them.
And that’s it. That’s the holiday. Getting together. Joining with family and friends, like the first Thanksgiving, sharing what you bring to the table and giving thanks for whatever it is you have.
Over the years, I’ve usually worked Thanksgiving night. Up until this year, the holiday fell during television ratings and the audience was usually captive (or comatose) on the couch after a day of eating and football and did I say eating? After a wonderful celebration with family and friends, I would come into work with trepidation, anticipating awful news. It seems like some of the worst news I’ve ever reported broke on Thanksgiving night. One story in particular still haunts me: After Thanksgiving dinner, a father in West Michigan drove his two young children to his place of work, a factory foundry, opened the door of one of the furnances, threw them in and then left. Unimaginable. Absolutely unimaginable.
I’ve told my dear friend, with whom we celebrate Thanksgiving, that the holiday brings me peace and solemnity on what is often a bleak and austere day in November. Even surrounded by loved ones, amidst the hustle and bustle of getting the food on the table and coaxing the Lions to a win (not), I find calm in the day.
Most experts will tell you, calm is not what is always summoned on a holiday like Thanksgiving. The pressure of families coming together in close quarters, strained relationships, stressful finances, and abundant imbibing often give way to explosive gatherings which too often lead to breaking news.
I’m taking Thanksgiving night off this year. I’m savoring the calm I look forward to on the fourth Thursday of November. And as I sit and watch 24-Hour News 8 from home, I’ll be thankful if there’s no awful breaking news to haunt me again.