A recent article with the headline "More folks dining out on Thanksgiving" said 30 million Americans will either eat out or buy takeout from restaurants.
This article saddened me, for Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday, recapturing memories of driving with my parents and five siblings to my grandparents' home in Rogers Park to celebrate the day with my many cousins, aunts and uncles and of course my grandparents, Pop-Pop and Gingy. While their kitchen was not very big, it was always filled with great joy as our grandmother and aunts baked, talked and sang, while busily working on a meal with all the fixin's resulting in aromas that filled that home with great anticipation for a tasty dinner. While I can't recall how they found room for us all to sit together to eat, I do remember that this was a great gathering, which of course included Gingy's "good gravy," and that couldn't begin until we all said a prayer of thanks which was led by our uncle, Father Tom.
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As years passed, those memories continued on at my mother and father's home in Des Plaines when they became grandparents, and the lessons taught were passed on to the next generation, where we were now the aunts and uncles cooking the turkey, making the stuffing, potatoes, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie and thanking the good Lord for all of our blessings.
While not all families can be together, those who can like many generations who came before us must decide whether to continue the tradition of cooking together, to laugh, to sing, to share a favorite dish, to give thanks, as the wonderful fragrance of Thanksgiving warms our home and fills our stomachs in our shared and unique American experience.