A post-Thanksgiving walk before Carter was born

Despite efforts by some you simply can’t ruin Thanksgiving which for me will always be the best holiday of the year because it’s pure…for the most part.  Everyone can celebrate regardless of race, religion or even political affiliation and you can still display pictures of turkeys without offending too many. You can even say “Happy Thanksgiving” and not fear the possibility that they may not acknowledge the holiday and you’ve said something offensive.

To me the day has always been about the four F’s…family, food, football and fun. Whether you’re remaining home or traveling out of town it’s a time for families and friends to reunite and renew traditions that have in many cases been passed down from one generation to another.  This is especially true this year following a pandemic which kept most gatherings to an intimate group in 2020.  Hopefully everyone in your group has been vaccinated which makes for a much more comfortable setting whether you’re with 5 or 15.

Eating is not done as a meal but in stages that often takes hours from the opening appetizers to the last desert.  Each year I try and adopt the philosophy that it’s not a sprint but a marathon but before I know it I’m stuffed and the stuffing (with sausage of course) has not even hit the table yet.  It’s just a matter of time before you need to loosen your belt and if ever there was a perfect day for stretch pants or better yet sweatpants this would be it.

Another part of the tradition is football…there are three NFL games which make for ideal filler between eating and there’s even four high school games in the morning all involving teams from Monmouth County.

For me personally this Thanksgiving has special meaning.  My recent medical journey has me realize that you can’t take anything for granted because there is no guarantee you’ll get to spend the holiday with the ones your love the most.  I will tomorrow and that’s reason enough to be thankful.

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