The preparations are long over, the meal just finished. Dessert will be served in an hour or so. In the meantime, some are playing games, others are simply talking. I think I just caught the sound of a football game.
I decided to spend a bit of time surfing the web before joining in a game of “Sequence.” (I always lose at “Sequence,” so postponing the inevitable for a few minutes seems a pleasant option.)
I’ve run across some really weird claims just now. One person, responding to my article in the Deseret News earlier today, seems to imagine that I think one has to choose, on Thanksgiving Day, between eating a meal and socializing with family and friends, on the one hand, or, on the other, reflecting on one’s blessings. He seems to think, as another comment says, that my article is summoning people to spend Thanksgiving Day fasting, in grim solitude.
Another person, writing on a message board, claims that Mormons deemphasize Thanksgiving, and wonders why. Thus far, people replying to him have suggested, in their attempts to explain this phony and completely manufactured phenomenon, that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints indoctrinates its members to ignore Thanksgiving and other holidays since money spent on such celebrations is money that could, otherwise, have gone into the pockets of Mormon leaders; that devout Mormons are simply uncomfortable around their families; and that, since holidays give people time and occasion to think, the leadership of the Church desperately wants to discourage their observance.
I get a kick out of such comments. One of my favorite television shows, when I was young, was The Twilight Zone.
Anyway, all of my wife’s four brothers and her sister are here — including a brother visiting from Washington State and another visiting from Arizona. (The kids all grew up in Colorado, but four out of six have found their way to Utah.) One of the spouses is visiting other family in Oregon, and couldn’t come, but we spoke with her via videoconference before dinner. Many of the kids/grandkids/cousins are here, as well, with spouses where applicable. There are, I think, about twenty-five of us. As is usual for this holiday. My father-in-law did the turkey and the family’s traditional red cabbage. Everybody else brought something, too. The food was very good.
We all miss the matriarch of the family, my wife’s mother, who passed away on 6 April after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s. I miss my own family, too. I have no parents and no sibling left. It’s sometimes pretty lonely.
This is, in other words, a pretty typical American Thanksgiving Day. Even the blessing on the food was, I would guess, fairly standard — as other families, Mormon and non-Mormon, have gathered across the country and, in many cases, offered prayers of gratitude and blessing. No grimness. No fasting. Certainly not ignored. Completely mainstream. Quintessentially American.
Some of our critics are simply bizarre.
Actually, the seldom-used and rather British word daft comes to mind.
Posted from Bountiful, Utah