How to have a Happy Thanksgiving

Wow, Thanksgiving crept up on me. So many other things are going on I nearly missed the annual column to celebrate Turkey Day.

(Not much to celebrate if you are a turkey, the noble bird Ben Franklin wanted to be our national emblem, rather than the scavenging, thieving bald eagle.)

Up until this century, columns reviewed the historical roots of the holiday, stressing how the Pilgrims were helped by the Indians Native Americans, who were invited to the festive table and where they scalped the settlers and ate their fill in peace.

But then came revisionist history, where the woke dredged up every negative moment of American history, forcing people like me to recognize how much we hate each other — currently Bidenites versus Trumpsters — and how Thanksgiving can quickly turn into a combination of Pearl Harbor and the War Between the States.

As a quick aside, the day after Thanksgiving is Native American Heritage Day. 

So why did the woke need to try and rename Columbus Day as Indigineous Peoples’ Day?

Back to Thanksgiving.

To avoid bloodshed, as the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe community did, is Rule #1 — Don’t talk politics!

That was good advice even in Mark Twain’s day, to which he added religion as forbidden subjects. 

We could probably add income, sexual orientation and particularly revolting medical ailments to the list.

Also banned  — in no particular order: abortion, gun control, the opioid crisis, the “stolen” election, the Georgia runoff, illegal immigration, taxes, tariffs, climate change, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Israel, and Kensington.

We have a prohibited subject list, but we don’t want dinner to be a silent movie, so we must have safe topics that are interesting, too. Here’s where Your Favorite Columnist comes to the rescue with conversation starters. Each guest selects a question, sight unseen, and gives an answer. It’s like Truth or Dare, but without the dark edge. The question “Why?” should follow most questions:

If you could be a famous person for a week, who would that be?

Who was the most influential person in your life?

What two items would you save if your house were on fire?

What’s the thing you miss most about the past?

If you could eat only three foods for the rest of your life, what would they be?

What was the last thing you did for the first time?

What is your favorite family tradition, and are you passing it on?

What super power do you wish you had?

If you could live at any earlier time, what period would you choose?

Who is the person, living or dead, you would love to have dinner with?

How would you spend $100 million you won in the lottery?

What age would you like to be again?

If you were trapped in a TV show, which would it be?

What is your favorite way to spend a Saturday night?

What did your parents do on their first date?

How did people survive without iPhones and Uber?

What is your spirit animal?

Specifically for kids:

Who is the funniest person at the table and why?

What is the hardest thing about being a parent?

What’s the hardest thing about being a kid?

What chore do you hate most, and why?

What toy do you wish you had? 

What animal do you wish you could be?

Me? Not a turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving! 

This is largely the same column that appeared last Thanksgiviing.

9 thoughts on “How to have a Happy Thanksgiving”

  1. Thankful for you. Thank you for the alternative table talk ideas. For more years than I can remember, we went around the table asking each family member what they were most thankful for and why. Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving Stu.

    Nice piece. Thanksgiving, Christmas with God. Who new ?!?
    We all have a lot to be thankful each and every day. Most of us take ‘being Americans’ without thought. If that is so. Go back in time to where you parents came from. Most of us are European whole or in part. Not a good place to be with all of the wars Europe has seen, etc.
    Me, I’m real curious what my father’s people would have to say about opening up this land to a people that tried to remove us from our mother earth. Genocide is a word that would fit quite well at this time.
    But that was then and this is now. Put away your hatred for the things that you can control. Give it a rest for the things that are beyond us. Think back to when we were all kids and where we lived was actually a ‘neighborhood.
    Maybe a little kindness will help bring that memory to a reality.
    There will be an empty seat at TWO HUNDRED FOUR Thanksgiving dinner tables this year. This is the number of law enforcement people that made their last call. They all deserve a prayer from us.
    Happy Thanksgiving all.

  3. Anthony, on behalf of my brothers and sisters in law enforcement, I extend my thanks for your kind words and for their extended families with empty chairs at their tables. A challenging and thoughtful set of questions from Stu that could keep the day exciting and fun but with the iPhone the element of time waiting for a response to each question would be very texting and the turkey would grow cold and all of a sudden we would be still be at the table celebrating National American Indian heritage day where the proper meal would be buffalo.

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