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Normal SOP is to post the Thanksgiving Sermon on Thanksgiving. We're doing it early so email subscribers and those busy with the Day of Thanksgiving will have the opportunity to hear the message before the onslaught of the Christmas mayhem season.
We begin today by invoking HL Mencken's axiom....
Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the average public school bureaucrat.
After spending several weeks making Thanksgiving costumes out of colorful construction paper, the school board has decreed that kindergartners in Claremont public schools may not wear these "demeaning", "racist", & "dehumanizing" costumes to celebrate the first Thanksgiving.
The instigator is a Professor of Native American literature......
Raheja, whose mother is a Seneca, wrote the letter upon hearing of a four-decade district tradition, where kindergartners at Condit and Mountain View elementary schools take annual turns dressing up and visiting the other school for a Thanksgiving feast. This year, the Mountain View children would have dressed as Native Americans and walked to Condit, whose students would have dressed as Pilgrims.
These kindergartners probably know that the first American Thanksgiving celebration took place in 1621. They might not know that the celebration lasted for days and took place sometime between September 21 and November 11.
In contemporaneous writings the Pilgrims didn’t refer to this first Thanksgiving as a Day of Thanksgiving, which were randomly celebrated whenever the people felt particularly blessed. This was a party. A celebration. A grand feast. You thought the Pilgrims were stodgy, but they dressed colorfully, sang, played games, and danced. Forget about that starchy, severe, black and white clothing that is the stock in trade of grade-school plays. You can forget about the buckles too, because they hadn't been invented yet.
Maybe the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians enjoyed roast turkey, but we can't be positive because in the dialect, the term wild fowl described all game birds. There definitely weren't any hams, yams, or cranberries. No cranberries? No sugar, Dude. You ain't eating cranberries without sugar. Yikes!
Four centuries later, this simple celebration evolved into our magnificent tradition of Thanksgiving, the essence of which is simplicity and graciousness. One single day of breaking bread and sharing wine, dedicated to the appreciation of the blessings of our lives and the lives of those we hold dear. It is about the appreciation of the rewards of our labors, the blessings of family, and the pleasures of friendship. For many, it is a time of spiritual uplift and a special time to be thankful to God for the blessings He has bestowed over the foregoing year.
Indisputably much of what we have and enjoy is a direct product of our hard work, our ingenuity, our creativity, and our abilities. However, it is also indisputable that it is but an accident of chance that the stork didn't drop you off in Afghanistan or The Sudan. Fate, which Neil Peart aptly described as the weight of circumstances. Circumstances that all too often in all too many places mean that little ones are born only to suffer, for the want of immunity or a bowl of rice.
Celebrate life. Take just a moment to be grateful for the path you've chosen. Pour a glass of the red. Maybe a cup of Sumatran. Enjoy a moment of solitude. Of introspection. Think about how you came to be here and that your very essence has had a profound and lasting impact on the lives of more people than you might have imagined. Often, the reverse is true as well. And your being is the joyful result of those processes.
Me? Aside from being favored with a lovely and talented wife and the wonderful children she has given me, I am perpetually grateful that my clients have made it possible for me to earn a living in a most agreeable way. Thank you.
And to friends, family, and Gentle Readers: Thank you for your friendship, your love, and your countless acts of kindness.
From Casa de las Rocas Grandes, I wish you a lifetime of Kodak Moments. May your Thanksgiving be what memories are made of.