Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Norman Rockwell Thanks giving

Those of us old enough to remember Thanksgiving dinners with our grandparents, can relate to Norman Rockwell's picture of the event.

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While the traditional dinner resembles this, every family has their own traditions. Most dinners will include several generations. Now, the guest lists often include neighbors and friends who either do not have extended family to share the day with or their family lives far away. One of my daughters always said a relationship was never serious until the family member brought their new girl or guy home for Thanksgiving dinner - the ultimate test.

Contrary to popular belief, few of us have the Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving. Well, that is unless the obnoxious uncle who always tells off color jokes, the cousin who can be counted on showing up dressed in Goethe, or the bat shit crazy relative you spend the entire day trying to evade are all seated at Rockwell's table just out of the picture. Show me someone who brags about their perfect Thanksgiving and I'll show you someone either in denial or who lives a very boring life. It is dysfunction that makes Thanksgiving - well Thanksgiving.

The traditions of today's Thanksgiving include  football games, parades, and even marathons.

Believe or not, the first Thanksgiving ball game dates back 1869, only 6 years after President Lincoln declared the day a holiday.  The game was played in Philadelphia between 2 Crickett clubs, the young American and the Germantown Cricket clubs.  And this game was just 2 weeks after the first College Football game. Rutgers University defeated Princeton University in New Jersey.

The first Thanksgiving Pro-Football game was played in 1934 between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears. The purpose of the game was not so much to celebrate Thanksgiving as it was made by one of the owners to fill the stands. 94 radio stations carried the game making it the first nationally broadcast Pro Football game. The Detroit Lions have played on every Thanksgiving since, with the exception of the years, the US was in World War II.


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There are traditional Thanksgiving weekend college rivalry games also. The Georgia Bulldogs annually take on the Georgia Tech Rambling Wrecks.  The Aurburn Tigers play the Alabama crimson Tide in the Iron Bowl. While the Ole Miss Rebels vs the Mississippi State Bulldogs in the Battle of the Golden Egg. The South Carolina Gamecocks take on the Clemson Tigers for the Palmetto Bowl. These are just to name a few.

So now, even though the turkey may be fried instead roasted, vegan and vegetarian dishes are included, Giblet Gravy is an unknown dish to many young ones, and 'Black Friday' actually starts just after lunch (or even earlier online) things have not changed much. 

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