I love this time of year, don’t you? As we count our blessings this holiday season, may we also make our blessings count.
I was delighted to see Christmas decorations adorning a drive-thru window the other day. But, I was also curious, why so early? We haven’t even celebrated Thanksgiving yet. I said as much to the sweet lady who handed me a bag of tacos, my personal precursor to a week-long turkey binge. She shrugged in response, gesturing with her eyes at any one of the busy workers behind her. Someone there wasn’t feeling very thankful.
This time of year, what’s not to be thankful about?
The weather here is unusually warm but not unbearable. It’s International Novel and Memoir Writing month. Authors Jonathan Swift and Mark Twain were born in November.
Children’s author (and winner of two Newberry Awards), Elizabeth George Speare, was born November 21, 1908. All four historical fiction novels (for children) were highly successful, most notably her impeccably written manuscript for “The Witch of Blackbird Pond,” which reportedly required only one change before being sent to print.
Numerous noteworthy events occurred in Novembers past.
November 21, 1934, Ella Fitzgerald secured her future as a legendary Jazz singer by bringing down the house on Amateur Night at the Apollo in Harlem.
Did you know that as President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863, he was in the middle of a minor bout of Smallpox? And, although the president spoke for only three minutes, his rhythmic delivery of compelling remarks was interrupted five times by applause.
And who can forget such an occasion as the three-day harvest feast shared between early American settlers and Native Americans, an event that to this day serves as a reminder that it’s not so much why we “break bread” together. It’s that we do.
In November of 1935, the first edition of the board game Monopoly went on sale.
But giving thanks – or being grateful – isn’t all about history. Why, just this month American Girl Dolls, the board game Risk, and good old-fashioned sand were inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame.
The culmination, earlier this month, of a journey perhaps not found on bucket lists (though epic just the same), revealed a blue trash barrel belonging to the city of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, washed up 3500 miles away; on a beach on the west coast of Ireland!
A little levity is always in order during hectic times, right? Reader’s Digest shares some comical Thanksgiving calamity stories. For instance, a woman rushed into a store on her way home from work, hoping to pick up a centerpiece for the Thanksgiving table. Not finding what she needed, she confronted the store manager, “Are you out of your gourds?!” to which he replied, “Why? What did we do now?”
How about you, dear reader? What smells the best at Thanksgiving dinner? (besides your nose) Do you have a favorite side dish? A special movie you watch every year?
Until again, stay safe, be happy, and write well!