Thanksgiving is coming but what is Thanksgiving about?
Is it about the Pilgrims and Indians like I learned in grade school? Food and football? Family? After much reading on line, I think it must mean different, but very similar things to many people.
Here's what I know. As a child and into my teens, my grandma always had all of our family over for Thanksgiving dinner. This was no small task! All of our family included my parents, my sister and me, my Mom's four sisters, their spouses and children and my mom's brother. Depending on who lived where and were able to make it that included from 12 to 15 grandchildren! Oh what memories.
After my grandpa passed away, my grandma had to move in 1988 to the Steepleview apartments and obviously she couldn't host the event any longer.
A few years later, I began going to my future father-in-law's home, two small children in tow and started making more memories. Although he had a small home we all squeezed in, a whole new family for me that made me welcome from the start. That lasted until, tragically, my father-in-law passed away in 2008.
When Thanksgiving rolled around his three sons didn't even want to talk about it, let alone gather together for this meal without their beloved father.
That's when I was introduced to the Lakeshore Association of Christian Churches sponsored Community Thanksgiving Dinner. I felt it was the perfect opportunity for my family; maybe we could make a difference to someone else. I joined the committee and volunteered myself (and I will admit, family members who I had not consulted) to help out.
Each year since, I have watched in amazement as this event has grown in size, both volunteers and those who choose to dine with us! We are actually spreading out to the surrounding communities, this year we expect to feed 500, yes I said 500 people!
We have had such support, both from sponsors and volunteers it is overwhelming. It has become such a part of my Thanksgiving that I don't know what I'd do without it!
To be able to go somewhere where everyone is so friendly and welcoming, whether alone or a whole family, it warms the heart. We can go individually or together to the prayer corner. No one judges or asks questions, other than how is your dinner or would you like dessert!
This year as always we will be at the Most Precious Blood hall on Thanksgiving Day, from 1 to 4 p.m., that crazy turkey will show up; there is handicapped access and things for the kids to do.
I'm going to let the bird out of the cage -this year we're going to try a Christmas Day roast beef dinner, also sponsored by LACC, same time, same place, deliveries and all!
The Pilgrims recognized that everything we have is a gift from God. Their tradition was established to honor God and thank Him for His blessings and grace. I felt compelled to write this to say "thank you" to the committee members, the volunteers and the community for giving me and my family somewhere to go to, something to do and a way to give back.
To sum it up, my opinion is that it is family and food, being thankful and expressing our thankfulness for having them. It is serving others. The football, well, I could personally do without!
Blessings to all.
Brooke M. Sonntag is an Angola resident.