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Going to Get a Turkey Today

In the US, Thanksgiving falls on the last Thursday of November and it is a national holiday, a day to give thanks for all that we have. For many Americans, it is one of only two major feasts that are celebrated each year, Christmas dinner is the other one.

Traditionally, the feast centers around Turkey and various side dishes, some of which may not be eaten again until the following Thanksgiving, such as cranberry sauce, or for some people, pumpkin pie. Some people eat something besides Turkey as the main course, too. For instance, my brother likes to barbecue seafood for Thanksgiving, often needing to shovel snow to get to the barbecue.

Thanksgiving is still 9 days away, but some preparations are already taking place. For example, even though our economy has gotten far better since our current President took office, there are still poor people in our community who are struggling. There are also seniors who wouldn’t be helped if they bought a large amount of food to have for a feast. So every year, our church soup kitchen hosts a community Thanksgiving feast. It is free and every person in the community is welcome, no matter who they are, what they believe, or how much money they have.

All the work that is done for that feast, from cooking, to serving, to cleaning, is done by volunteers and each year, we have members of other churches in the area who even come in to lend a hand, too. It really is a community event. The food is also donated. Still, this is a major undertaking. Every year, we serve between 150-300 people. That isn’t many for a city, but our entire valley only has about 800 people, so it is a sizable portion of the community. People also come here from neighboring towns. If preparations don’t begin now, we wouldn’t be able to pull it off.

At the same time, the food bank is still in operation and it will be open today. Around Thanksgiving and again on Christmas, a huge amount of food is distributed. Among the food that is given away, there are usually turkeys. This year, the food bank received a donation of many turkeys, so a turkey will be going out with every food basket unless a family indicates that they don’t want any turkey.

My wife and I are among the ‘poor’, so I plan to go in today to pick up a food basket and turkey. The food bank is open on Tuesdays and will be closed next week, except for emergencies, so this is the last Tuesday it will be open before Thanksgiving. I will put the turkey in the freezer and take it out to thaw around a week from today, so I can cook it on Thanksgiving. With what we normally make on Thanksgiving, we usually have enough food to last a week.

I have extra to be thankful for this year, too. My nephew, who I didn’t even know existed until about a month ago, is planning on bringing us an ice chest of venison, elk, and maybe even some antelope. He loves to hunt and was able to get a lot of meat this year. He also knows that I wasn’t able to go hunting this year since my hunting partner (my daughter) is no longer in the country. So on one of the next couple of weekends, he wants to bring us a bunch of meat. I definitely appreciate the gesture and also look forward to meeting my nephew, Tanner.

  • What is your favorite part of your Thanksgiving dinner?

    • I don’t have a special thanksgiving meal/don’t celebrate Thanksgiving
    • turkey
    • stuffing
    • fresh turkey gravy
    • yams/sweet potatoes
    • mashed potatoes
    • salad
    • cranberry sauce
    • pie/dessert
    • other

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Written by Rex Trulove

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12 Comments

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  1. Oh, Rex, all that is exciting news. I am glad you are getting the bounty of love you so richly and freely give. It is good to know that things go full circle. There is nothing poor about your spirit and kindness. You are one of the richest men I know and you give your love and wisdom away freely.

  2. I have always thought it strange that Thanksgiving is celebrated when it is – so close to Christmas. I understand that a former President decided on the date, and could quite easily have chosen a different one – so why didn’t he?

      • It’s a big celebration only a few weeks before another big celebration. There is no reason for the day being when it is – it could have been at any other time of the year, thus allowing people to spread the cost better.

        • It was set when it was because it is after the last harvest of the year and when food stocks were beginning to dwindle. Originally, it was a community feast, not a family one, so everyone brought what they had to the feast and everyone was able to eat well a final time before the grip of winter was felt. There didn’t use to be a Christmas feast. That was done somewhat later when availability of food wasn’t an issue anymore. Still, we save a lot of money on these feasts. The food that we prepare lasts us typically over a week, and when figured as how much food would cost over a normal week, it ends up cheaper for us to have a Thanksgiving feast. A great deal of consideration went into the selection of the date.

          For example, we spent more in the past week than we have for our Thanksgiving feast. Yes, we did get a free turkey, but this past week, we also went to two pot-luck dinners put on by the Church and Church members, so we didn’t have to buy or prepare two of the dinners this week.

    • It was made a national holiday by The Congress and the date was very specifically chosen because it was after the last harvest but before the worst weather of winter. The date was ideally chosen. It would have made more sense to select a different day to celebrate the birth of Christ, such as closer to the day He was born, but by then, December 25 was cemented worldwide as the birthday of Jesus, even though He was almost certainly not born in the winter.

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