Thanksgiving crept up on me much faster than it normally does, probably because I was out of the country only a week ago. I had the presence of mind to order my turkey from Harry Ochs in the Reading Terminal Market before I left for Panama and I picked it up last Saturday morning in my little shopping cart. The butcher was nice enough to load the turkey in the cart for me, thus avoiding further strain on my ailing back. Right now, it's soaking in a nice brine solution so that it will be flavorful and juicy tomorrow when I roast it.
The morning will begin with me putting The Bird in the oven and then leaving for Mass at St. Paul's. We'll have too much food and dessert but the nice part is being able to send leftovers home with my guests so they don't have to cook one night in the next few days. It will just be the immediate family and a friend of my husband's who has no place to go or anyone to be with. I tried to persuade one of the janitorial crew at work to join us tomorrow but he insisted he has a place to go. I can't stand the thought of anyone eating alone on Sundays or holidays.
I can't imagine a Thanksgiving that doesn't begin by thanking God in the Real Presence of His Son for the blessings of the past year. The fact that no one is seriously ill, that we have jobs and a roof over our heads, that the worst loss we faced this past year was that of a pet and not, thank God, a child - acknowledgement of these favors comes before the bird, the football, and the pie. When I was growing up, the only day of the year on which we said grace was Thanksgiving. It wasn't until I met my husband's family that I encountered the practice of giving thanks before every meal, every day. Now my children are trained to give thanks for their meal no matter where they are and I'm proud of my son, who will quickly remind us in a restaurant or other public place if we forget. It's a simple way to bear witness to our faith.
All things come of Thee, O Lord, and of Thine Own have we given Thee. Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving!