This will be a Thanksgiving for the history books

November 15, 2020

There’ll be no more “over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go” this year. Everyone is rethinking their travel plans for Thanksgiving. Even turkeys have reservations about entering a stranger’s house, who doesn’t wear a mask or follows safe distancing. But since this is the only invitation the turkeys will receive all year, plus the fact there is nothing on the television, why the heck not show up.

And in keeping with that current theme, today grandmothers, whom we count on to give us that cozy setting in keeping with the ambiance of the holidays, has skipped town. One word like “contagious,” and more than likely grandma has already hit the road in her new RV camper for southern places like the Villas of Sea, Phase Fifty in Florida. Their suitcases are packed on the back with masks, sanitizers and Travelosities mapped out in hemorrhoid ointment.

It’s not that we don’t enjoy our children and grandchildren, but rather our life is different now. It centers around CAT scans, blood tests and any relief that has a photo of a person on the front of the box with lightning bolts coming out of every orifice.

Of course, we will miss those Thanksgiving traditions of sitting around the table and reliving all those happy memories of growing up in our family. Naturally, I’m speaking of your family, not mine.

We did always look forward to playing games though, especially charades, where you had to guess what was in our aunt’s famous turkey stuffing. None of us could ever eat it, since she was usually three sheets to the wind when she poured it into the turkey cavity. Often it would come out with things like an ash tray baked in or the DNA of unidentified inanimate objects. 

Even if you lost the game it was great to use as a hockey puck in those after dinner free-for-all games in which disputes always got a little heated. I believe the U.S Department of Defense was looking to option it at one time or another. Anyway, those were the good times.

Seating around the table was crucial to a good family value meal back then. In fact, most people had a special table just for the children so the adults could talk about mature topics like the rain forest or nuclear disarmament. Okay, again we are talking about your family.

 We mostly complained about prior family insults, like who re-gifted last year’s Christmas gift of extra-large tube socks. The resolution of these issues often involved discussions that broke down as the evening wore on into something that resembled a good old-fashioned saloon knock-down, drag-out foray.  Of course, the more radical members just left their horses outside; it goes without saying.

Either way, this year’s Thanksgiving will be one for the books. Whether you are trying to reach grandma on her new cell phone or out still looking for that river and woods, or just staying home eating a frozen pizza, take comfort in the fact that the Butterball Turkey hot line is open 24/7 and easier to understand than your new tax bill.  Oh yeah, that red plug sticking out of the turkey is nothing to worry about.


  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter