“Leaves are falling, Autumn’s calling; uniformed men on fields are brawling. Get to hopping, time for shopping: the darkest of Friday deals aren’t stopping. Take your place, stuff your face; forgo diets and bodily disgrace. Times a fleeting, get to eating; consider the reason you are meeting? Past forgotten, memories rotten; of the family you’ve begotten. Memories fleeting, never repeating; lost while you’re too busy eating. Gone in blinks, that really stinks; perhaps it’s time to give some thinks!” ~ For those of you who do and can remember Thanksgiving was once a more celebrated and festive time ­— especially during those elementary school years.

An entire week devoted to learning about the feast that brought the Indians and Pilgrims together. Of how they worked together, learned from one another and celebrated a good harvest and brotherhood. Don’t forget to have your folks send in a paper shopping bag! We’ll be using those and construction paper to make Indian vests and headdresses. Oh and we’ll use poster board to make authentically styled pilgrim hats. Now remember we’ll be having our Thanksgiving dinner on Wednesday. If your parents want to send something for us to share you’ll need to put it on the sign-up sheet and they’re also invited…Ah simpler times.

Of course now-a-days we know better. Our old-school education on Thanksgiving was a farce and we teach our children differently. We won’t go into detail about how the real first Thanksgiving went down (feel free to search the internet at your leisure). However in the “reality” of it all a valuable lesson has been lost. Because back then the Thanksgiving story didn’t resonate so much as a historical event as it did a lesson in ethics in how we should treat other people. How accepting others, despite their differences, would and could benefit all. How we should all be friends and sit down together no matter what.

Ah but who gives a happy s*** about why it started or what Thanks-given is about? There’s a buncha empty calories spread before us, so we can eat till we’re eating for the sake of eating, bountiful harvest, hard work in the kitchen? Naw we picked most of this up at the Walmart. Now everybody turn off your phones for a minute, so we can pretend to give thanks and a f***. Grab your multiple plates, c’mon in the living roo, the game’s about to start. We can all sit together, lookin’ at healthier fellas in tight pants run around on the TV, and ignore each other. No time for interaction or socializing with family and friends. We gotta hurry so we can spend hours in line with strangers. You know the pre-early-bird, day before-pre-Black Friday Sale starts in just a few minutes (would a “pre-Black Friday Sale” not be a “Grey Thursday Sale”?). Why should we waste time interacting with our kin, when we can get a state of the art Cuisinart blender toaster with DVD Blu-ray combo for 25% of the factory price (after mail-in rebate).

Yes, why should we spend quality time with our loved ones; especially during a gathering that’s supposed to be all about that? Well maybe because they could DIE! Do you really want the last time you see someone (pre-funeral) spent not really seeing them — think about it!

Dine early to avoid the shopping rush. Create a meal together…everybody. It doesn’t have to be traditional because the traditional isn’t. Or order Chinese, they will be open, they don’t do American holidays. Turn off your phones and get some real “face-time” face to face. Turn off the idiot box. Let the youngest literate child (no babies) say the blessing. Guaranteed it will be less long-winded and more sincere. Nobody’s serving but everyone’s waiting till everyone’s served before anyone eats anything. Now sit down TOGETHER! And now…converse, interact, be together! Afterwards do something together, something you can only do together. Play games (charades, cards, group juggling), do an impromptu talent show, turn on some music; sing, dance, laugh. Participation and merriment are mandatory. Make a memory that you’ll remember…or regret when everyone else remembers how badly you dance. Don’t just say you’re thankful act thankful — be thankful — show you’re thankful to be thankful with those you’re thankful for.

I welcome almost all questions and comments via the Focus, or E-mail me directly at [email protected]. Hope to hear from you, until then try and stay focused. See ya!