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Giving Thanks and Talking Turkey

“Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends to gather together and express gratitude for all that we have been given, the freedoms we enjoy, and the loved ones who enrich our lives. We recognize that all of these blessings, and life itself, come not from the hand of man but from Almighty God.” ~President George W. Bush

A Happy Thanksgiving full of love, sharing, and generosity to everyone. We have so much to be thankful for in our Nation. This year, more than ever, I feel it’s important Americans appreciate and give thanks for all we are so very blessed with.

With all that we have been faced with this past year, I think the kickoff to the holiday season has snuck up on many of us faster than ever. It’s also difficult to think about turkey and mistletoe while enjoying that summer-like weather we had a couple of weeks ago. The beauty of the first snowfall and colder temperatures helped to bring us that more seasonal feeling.

Before I get to some fun food facts about Thanksgiving dinner, I’d like to share with you a couple of thoughts about the traditional gathering at the Thanksgiving table and how to make it a happy one. Actually, these ideas can carry right on through to dessert, the football games, which may include a little turkey bowl action in the backyard, then the feasting on leftovers that usually follows. Then finally, that evening card game and conversation many seem to enjoy. With all that being said, you can carry these thoughts right on through to the New Year’s Eve parties, and I promise all there will be far less stress and disagreements.

I’m sure my family already knows where I’m going with this. Simply, stay away from any political discussion. As I stated last week, we are definitely a divided Nation; let’s just call it 50/50. This means you have the same odds of winning the coin toss for the turkey bowl as someone getting offended by a discussion involving the president. The next thing that happens is Uncle Joe gets hit right between the eyes with a turkey leg by someone who strongly disagrees with him. This was obviously done by a younger member of his family. I should probably put a disclaimer here about Uncle Joe; I’m not referring to our sitting president; it’s a random reference about that uncle we all have.

My next suggestion will help you avoid political discussions and prevent Uncle Joe from needing an ice pack. Please under no circumstance have any news network or news broadcast on TV. They could be talking about something as simple as the pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkey and there will be a political slant put on it. President Joe Biden could be proudly pardoning Tom the turkey and serving up a tofurkey for dinner. The next thing you know Uncle Joe makes a comment and gets whacked with the other leg. I’m sure you get the picture. No political discussions; keep everybody happy.

I also want to add here there is no truth to the rumor that there was to be a President Trump balloon in the Macy’s Day Parade, as it was grounded. This was allegedly done due to the fact his head was too big to be guided through the streets of Manhattan, and they could find no one to work as handlers with the former president’s balloon. Again, this was probably fake news started by a network new station.

And, again, you in no way want this, or any news on the screen on Thanksgiving Day.

Now let’s plate up some food facts about the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. It is estimated 88% of Americans will eat turkey on Thanksgiving. This will result in the purchase of over 46 million turkeys nationwide, sales will exceed $1 billion.

There will be an estimated 250 million pounds of potatoes served right alongside that perfectly roasted bird. This includes both regular and sweet potato dishes.

Stuffing is a tough number to nail down; this is due to the amount of breadcrumbs and bread that is purchased for homemade stuffing as opposed to the box or bag premade mix. The best number I could come up with is that Americans will spend $125 million on the stuffing of their choice.

Americans will spend nearly another $90 million on corn, macaroni & cheese, and side dishes.

They will pour over 30 million gallons of gravy and purchase over 80 million pounds of cranberry-based products. They will also serve over 40 million rolls.

The last Thanksgiving course, which is many Americans’ favorite. There will be over 28 million pies eaten on Thanksgiving Day — 19 million of these are sold over the counter. Over $5.5 million was spent on pie filling, with 37% of those preparing dinner baking homemade pies.

In cleaning the plate on Thanksgiving dinner, on average, the dinner will cost 25% more this year — and if it matters to you, most will eat an extra 1,500 calories on Turkey Day.

Please make sure no family member, friend, or neighbor is forgotten on Thanksgiving Day when it comes to this special dinner of gratitude and sharing. Whether you have an extra seat at your table, or someone is homebound and needs a little delivery service.

Thank you to all that make contributions to local churches and organizations to help provide not only Thanksgiving dinner but meals every day of the week. This is truly working in the name of good. It is sometimes forgotten that the giving of time is always needed to provide these meals.

Happy Thanksgiving, and let’s all be extra careful out there.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb