This country is full of lessons on freedom of speech, assembly, creed, and for this date, when Indians shared food with pilgrims, this time on democracy. Our celebration of Thanksgiving Day deserves a turkey and the old savory garnishes. But it's not the only way.


     This country is full of lessons on freedom of speech, assembly, creed, and for this date, Indians sharing food with pilgrims, this time on democracy. Our celebration of Thanksgiving Day deserves a turkey and the old savory garnishes. But it's not the only way.                                        Some people living in the United States join the feast and remembrance, with different styles and flavors. It may include tamales, roasted pork, tacos deluxe, rice with different ingredients, in an endless list of possibilities of different dishes. And for dessert, substituting the pumpkin pie, they may try flan (custard), cake, and who knows how many more typical desserts, depending on the origin of the family.
        However, each of the inhabitants of this country is a member of the American family. Kids of all kinds of beauty are taught in schools the how, who, why, when and where of the first gathering. They have fun wearing the different headgear and doing handmade turkeys. A rich way to teach, unforgettable on the learning side. The next day at home, they eat at a table where important members of the family seat. Those absent are greatly missed.
        That's another point for Thanksgiving Day, a national way for the family reunion, where they taste good food in the best company of them all. It's a history lesson in a dining room, with attendants of all ages. It might be a good idea to ask one of the kids of the right age to talk about the significance of the day. I'm sure everyone, including him or her, would enjoy it. Besides, they may want to tell their teacher and maybe even their classmates about this unique opportunity.
        Ahead of time, setting the table is a must. If you have a fine tablecloth and china, silverware and crystal, let them out. It doesn't matter what you are about to eat, turkey or not. All will be grateful for what they have, including being part of this country. Even if they decide to serve the classic turkey, there are different ways to season or cook it.
        Another detail some people observe is dressing up themselves, which is not necessary but adds a certain extra touch. I, myself, think that people shouldn't wear the same outfit at Thanksgiving that  they wear to push a cart when buying groceries.
        There is a detail we all must consider at holidays. If the gathering is going to be at the same house year after year, every guest must get there early in order to help. Or we may think, even for a better policy, of changing the place every year, giving others the opportunity and the good feeling of being the host and hostess.
         I have a friend, a mother of five, whose spouse and children give her the never-ending job from A to Z in housekeeping at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mother Day, Easter, and any other date worth celebrating. Also, her kids lived somewhere else and, by a coincidence, they all were late. But they had to leave early next morning, leaving behind an upside-down kitchen. How about that!
        She decided not to have anybody anymore, but nobody accepted the responsibility of taking care of parties or celebrations. She stayed at home and cried. There are selfish people in many places, not much to be thankful for.
        Blessed is the country that allows the people to go their own way in cooking, celebrating and enjoying the date. All of us have more than a reason to be thankful for.