Here’s hoping for a Thanksgiving of cheer

Thanksgiving season provides a warm and welcome opportunity to come together and appreciate family, friends and food.

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President Joe Biden speaks at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in Havelock, North Carolina on Monday at a Thanksgiving dinner with members of the military and their families.

President Joe Biden speaks at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in Havelock, North Carolina on Monday at a Thanksgiving dinner with members of the military and their families.

Patrick Semansky/AP Photos

Professional football has been played on Thanksgiving since 1934, when the game included the Chicago Bears. This year, six NFL teams will play on the holiday.

Here is a stadium-style cheer we would like to hear this year to remind us there is a lot more to the holiday than scrimmages and blown plays:

“Give us a T (for Togetherness — and Turkey).” During the rest of the year, far-flung jobs, busy schedules and other factors can limit personal interactions among family members and close ones to phone calls and electronic communications. Thanksgiving season provides a warm and welcome opportunity to come together and appreciate family, friends and food, even for those who must celebrate on a different day because they work on Thanksgiving.

“Give us an H (for Hope).” At a time when so many troubles beset us, we can dream of better times ahead, even if our dreams just amount to obtaining special deals on Black Friday. Get out the wishbone.

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“Give us an A (for Air Travel).” OK, in these times your airplane might not leave on schedule or might not wind up in the right city. Airports are crowded. Connecting flights are missed. Luggage gets rerouted to Albuquerque. But, really, for many people, how does Thanksgiving happen without it?

“Give us an N (for Nostalgia).” Kitchen aromas … memories of loved ones no longer with us … sweet potato pie … holiday sweaters … home-baked rolls … family feasts … old photos … cranberry sauce … traditions … Aunt Mary Margaret’s turnips … excited kids playing games … loved ones sitting elbow-to-elbow … the family’s china plates ... children hiding under the table and listening to grownups’ conversations ... leftovers for the days after the holiday.

“Give us a K (for the Kickoff).” How did this get in here? No, give us a K for Kicking Back and retelling fondly remembered stories.

“Give us an S (for Servings of Stuffing).” Make that several servings of stuffing. In fact, several sizable servings of stuffing. Need we say more? Cogito ergo yum.

“Give us a G (for Gratitude).” This is what it’s all about, right? We have 364 other days in the year to complain — 365 in leap years.

“Give us an I (for Inclusion).” Not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving. Or they celebrate it in their own way. But there’s always a time for everyone to wish the best for others and for everyone to give thanks for the good that life brings them, on whatever day they choose to do so.

“Give us a V (for Vegetables).” Besides turkey and other entrees, let’s give thanks for the veggies, including potatoes, pumpkin pie (yes, we know pumpkins are technically a fruit, but who’s checking?) and green bean casserole. Yam it up. You’ve burned up enough calories earlier in the day from the turkey bowl, turkey trot or Thanksgiving hike to make room for more. E pluribus munchum. 

“Give us an I (for Inflated Balloons at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade).” Or for inflated compliments about the home cooking. Or for inflated waistlines on Friday morning.

“Give us an N (for Newspapers).” Sorry, we couldn’t resist slipping that one in. How about an N for Niceness toward all, even toward those at the Thanksgiving dinner table who voted the wrong way in the last election and aren’t shy about proclaiming why they did it? And toward those who took their plates into the next room to watch football? And toward those who didn’t pitch in with the dishes?

“Give us a G (for Graciousness).” Resolving to treat everyone with graciousness all year round is the very least we can do. The rest is gravy.

“What does it spell?” Happy Thanksgiving wishes to all.

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