Jason Davis: It took a while, but Thanksgiving’s really grown on me

Nov. 25, 2013 @ 12:11 AM

As a child Christmas was a magical time.

It meant family gatherings, playing with cousins rarely seen, special church services, caroling and seeing Santa Claus. And of course, it meant toys.

It was, without question, my favorite holiday.

As an adult, Christmas is still a special time — honoring the birth of Christ and enjoying watching my own son’s holiday wonder — but Thanksgiving has earned its own special place in my heart. Kind of a favorite holiday 1-B.

For years Thanksgiving was nothing but a precursor to Christmas to me. It was a day the grown-ups spent hours in the kitchen preparing a big fancy meal that none of us kids really liked.

Sure, there was pumpkin pie — which was a treat — but you had to wear stuffy clothes, use the dusty cloth napkins you knew you weren’t really supposed to use, and pass around dish after dish of Aunt Lorene’s broccoli casserole or Uncle Steve’s special ham — which you knew was nothing more than a deal he’d found at an outlet store three or four months earlier.

We’d have rather had a cheeseburger. Or Domino’s.

But it only got worse.

There weren’t any Thanksgiving songs, there were no presents and you had to suffer through Papaw Davis’ legendary 15-minute (so it seemed) pre-meal prayer, in which he listed everything we should be thankful for — from God and Jesus down to the president, the military and even to our local elected officials, who he knew were doing their best to represent us. As an 8-year-old with pumpkin pie awaiting, it was just too much.

After the meal the boredom only continued as we were stuck with a bunch of sleepy, overstuffed adults napping in front of the TV, watching yet another Detroit Lions football loss.

But then, sometime in my early 20s, it happened.

Thanksgiving became important.

Just being with with family became paramount. Spending time over a good meal, sharing each other’s fellowship and yes, even reminiscing about my grandfather’s marathon-like prayers became staples of the Davis Thanksgiving.

Most years my wife and I would drive to my sister’s home near Dayton, Ohio, where we’d meet my father and celebrate with our tight-knit little family.

Since my father died in 2009 that tradition has faded somewhat, but Thanksgiving is still the holiday that more than any means family to me.

Thanksgiving is all about family, and truly being thankful for all the blessings we have.

It takes a little age and perspective on life to realize exactly how important Thanksgiving is, and exactly how thankful we should all be, regardless of our own personal circumstances.

There are so many blessing with which we’ve all been bestowed. 

We live in the greatest country in the world, in arguably the most beautiful part. Many travel here to enjoy this beauty, and the events and activities its beauty and people have helped provide.

So take time to love your family this week, and be thankful for all that you have.

In many ways, we’ve all got it pretty good.