A Wilson Times Co. publication · Serving Southern Nash County Since 1947

Reflect appreciation and give thanks

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Gobble, gobble, gobble! Happy Thanksgiving, my dear friends. What a wonderful time of year this always turns out to be. There isn’t really anything better than stuffing your gut to near capacity and then falling out in front of the television in a food coma daze.

The aroma of a juicy turkey will be flowing through the neighborhoods this Thursday. As we sit down together this Thanksgiving holiday and pass the giblet gravy around, take a moment and reflect upon the blessings you have been graciously bestowed. There are many others in our surrounding areas who are not as fortunate as we are to be able to celebrate the traditional Thanksgiving holiday.

Years ago, my family started a small tradition in which we’d write down short statements giving thanks for certain personal appreciations. This year, my daughter suggested that we write down our thanks on small decorative cards and string them up on the Christmas tree for all to see and read throughout the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

Traditions can be widespread for the holiday season. Not everyone enjoys a Thanksgiving turkey. Some families will cook chicken, steak or some other nontraditional Thanksgiving meal. That alone is what makes giving thanks so important — being thankful that we have the opportunity to do so.

This year I will be making my mother’s homemade stuffing along with some other delightful recipes from her cookbook. We will be roasting the turkey for most of the cooking time and nearing the end of its roaster oven life, I will transplant the bird to the deck grill to give it that hickory smoke flavor along with that grilled crispy outer skin we all have come to love so well. Ahh, I can just smell it now. Along with turkey, we will have other traditional patters filled with potato salad, corn, green bean casserole, collards, yams, cranberry sauce and of course various pies.

I remember when I was little and my family would gather around the kitchen with Mom while she prepared our dinner. A certain small task she took such as how she chopped the celery or mixed the ingredients in different dishes has stayed with me all these years. Those memories I try to replay over and allow my own family and children to develop their own cherished moments they can take on to their families as they grow.

Giving thanks isn’t all that this time-honored holiday is about. It’s also about spending time with those who mean the most to you. Although there are times when holidays aren’t the best as they bring sad memories of loved ones lost.

Regardless if you indulge into the feast of your choice or decided to use the holiday as a time to reflect upon your solitude with the world, remember to embrace the gratitude you have and show it to others. Give thanks where thanks are due and give thanks even when you think it’s not due. Sometimes just hearing an appreciative word can brighten the day of the unsuspecting recipient.

Rodney O’Neal is a resident of southern Nash County.