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This is not that type of column

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Published on: Wednesday, November 21, 2012

By Brian J. Karem

Happy Thanksgiving. I hope this day finds you well and you’re enjoying it with friends and family.

I’d like to take the time to give thanks for my favorite holiday and the one truly American holiday which celebrates the best this country has to offer.

The historical basis for this holiday is well known to us, but should be discussed.

In 1621 the Pilgrims took a little time with their native friends Squanto and Massasoit to celebrate their first harvest. The local native tribes later paid for this kindness in blood as the white man ran amuck across the land, but hey this isn’t that type of column.

In 1863 President Lincoln gave us our first national day of Thanksgiving, and since that time people everywhere across this great land have spent the day watching football, eating too much turkey and unbuttoning their pants to celebrate.

I believe the Green Bay Packers played the Chicago Bears on that first Thanksgiving and Lincoln took the Packers and the spread. But, hey, it’s not that kind of column.

During the last 150 years of celebrating many a brave turkey has met its maker so we can celebrate this day and more than anything else, this column is for all the turkeys everywhere, poultry or human; they deserve our respect and thanks.

I’d sincerely like to thank the veterans of all our armed services who sacrificed so we can celebrate this day, but I’d like to temper that thanks with a prayer that they may never need to be called on again.

I’d also like to thank my mother and my father and my grandparents. My mom and dad for obvious reasons – I’m here am I?not? I want to thank my grandparents for having the intelligence to leave a land of oppression (no, not Alabama) but the Middle East, Russia and Germany to come to this country and build something new.

It may sound funny, but I really want to thank the politicians – those I like and those I don’t – for adding their voice to the great chorus of the United States and building what we all enjoy today.

I pray they learn to sing together again.

Key to that thanks would be to thank Lincoln for the holiday. It is my favorite because it’s not steeped in false religious sentiment, but rather in the simple act of giving thanks. I know there are plenty of turkeys out there who don’t like Lincoln, and a few birds too, but hey, as the man said, “And your bird can sing.”

Thanksgiving has always been the best of times for my family. Members travel from around the country and the world to be together for the simple act of enjoying each other’s company. No presents are exchanged. There’s no pressure to perform. No one asks, “Did I get the right thing? Did I spend enough? Will they like what I got them?”

Nope. We all just show up, eat, laugh and enjoy one another.

Think about that and thank God for that – though this isn’t that type of column.

I’m not going to go all “Christianity” on you. If you want to thank Allah, Buddha, the mystical powers of the Universe or scores of other deities I can neither name nor remember, then please do. Mine is an all-inclusive “Thank You.”

If your parents are still alive, then thank them. If you’re lucky enough to have children, then thank them.

Thank your pets and that nosey next door neighbor who always seems to know more about what’s going on in your home than you do – after all information is always vital. Thank the bill collectors and the bankers. Thank your dentist and your doctor.

Thank the car repair man who charges you too much and the kid who cuts your grass who charges too little.

Don’t miss anyone. I’d say even thank that idiot you wanted to punch out last week because he got into your grill like a bully and it took every ounce of restraint to keep from pummeling him into unconsciousness. He made you a better human being by enabling you to show a more noble side of your nature.

In the end, this type of column is about as sincere as one smart aleck middle-aged man can muster mister. Give thanks. Then on Black Friday, we’ll all head to the mall and beat each other into a bloody pulp as we hunt for bargains to give as Christmas presents. Sigh.

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