A bad week to be a turkey

More than 46 million turkeys will be consumed this Thanksgiving week.  I think it is safe to assume that at least 46 million quarts of gravy will be consumed as well.  Turkey is not usually known for its outstanding flavor – no matter how good you are at roasting, basting, trussing, stuffing, etc.  Turkey is a very low fat, healthy and therefore mostly tasteless cut of meat.  I remember Jack LaLanne, the health and fitness guru of the fifties and sixties, saying he ate turkey everyday.  He lived to be 96 years old so he may have been onto something.

Turkeys are not known for being the brightest birds in the bush.  There is a myth about Benjamin Franklin and the turkey that gets passed around each year.  Benjamin Franklin did not really suggest that the wild turkey become the nation’s symbol in place of the bald eagle. But he did write in a letter to his daughter that he was disappointed the bald eagle was chosen, and in so doing he explained that the turkey was “in comparison a much more respectable bird.”  I don’t think the turkey will be very “respected” this week; eaten, yes – but not respected.

Friends and I were driving around The Cove, Billy Graham’s retreat center, a couple of weeks ago and saw a bunch of wild turkeys.  They were extremely unafraid of us.  In fact, we had to wait patiently for them to cross the road before we continued on.  The Cove is truly one of the most peaceful places on this planet – even for turkeys!

Which leads me to the point of this blog post.  This is a bad week for turkeys, and I’m not just referring to the headless main course on Thursday.  I am amazed at the amount of media surrounding seasonal shopping.  I read an article recently describing two California women who have been camping out at their local Best Buy store for the past three weeks.  They are determined to be the first in line when the doors open for the big “Black Friday” sale.  They take turns going home for showers and meals, but they spend most of their time in lounge chairs holding their number one place in line.  Their goal this year: a new flat-screen television at a bargain price.  In my opinion, “free” would not be a good enough deal to warrant missing Thanksgiving, not to mention three valuable weeks of life itself.  Forgive me for being rude, but there are more “turkeys” at Thanksgiving than are being eaten.

Whatever you have planned for Thanksgiving Day, unless it is camping outside Best Buy, I hope you are blessed and successful at the end of the day.  If you are planning to have more than one “turkey” in your home for the holiday, if you catch my drift, it would be good to begin praying about that now.  The Aspen Education Group provides this advice for avoiding “Thanksgiving Family Disasters.”  (The commentary, however, is my own.)

Spend the holiday in a public place.  (Could this be why the California Best Buy ladies are camped outside the door?)
If you are the host, don’t exhaust yourself before Thanksgiving dinner.  (The article was written by Dr. Nick Stinnet – who, I am guessing has never shopped for, decorated for, cooked for or cleaned up for an entire Thanksgiving meal for a family of 10 or 12 people.  Is he serious…don’t exhaust yourself?  If you are a host, consider this point a fantasy and move on.)
Spend time and energy on planning entertainment.  (I raised two sons, in Dallas, Texas.  I spent zero time planning entertainment.  On the other hand, our Thanksgiving meal is always scheduled according to the Dallas Cowboys kick-off.  Pumpkin pie is usually served during the half-time entertainment.  If I planned something like a Bingo tournament or a time of family sharing, I would be eating my pumpkin pie on a lounge chair at Best Buy the following year.  NOW I understand those women!  They are hoping to earn their way back into the family’s good graces by presenting the menfolk that new flat screen television!)
Have a clever seating arrangement.  (This may include setting a table with a couple of chairs in the garage.  *See the aforementioned definitions of turkey in paragraph four of this blog post.)
Have a strategy if things get out of hand.  (This strategy should not include locking family members out of your home, changing the channel from the football game to the cooking channel or heading to the airport to catch a plane to a remote island paradise.)

If you need a good strategy for your Thanksgiving allow the Apostle Paul to provide one.  He wrote, “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).  

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration.  I hope your turkey is not dry, the gravy is abundant and your family is not cranky.  I hope you can think of many reasons that you are thankful for the life you have been blessed with.  I hope you will “abound in every good work” on Thursday, and then again on Friday.  

And if you are reading this in the city of Beaumont, California – there are two ladies that would be thankful to have a plate of leftovers if you live close to that Best Buy!

I’ll write again next week – until then, may your Thanksgiving celebration be blessed with all of God’s goodness.  Happy “turkey” day!

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