To me Thanksgiving is without question the best holiday of the year because it’s pure. at least for the most part. 

Everyone who wants to can celebrate it, regardless of race or religion and it’s the one holiday in these politically-correct times that does not offend anyone.  You can even display pictures of turkeys without having someone force you to take them down because they violate some law.

When you wish someone a “Happy Thanksgiving” you don’t have to fear the possibility that they may not acknowledge the holiday and you’ve said something offensive.  I mean have you yet seen a bumper sticker that reads, “Put the thanks back in Thanksgiving?”

To me the day has always been about the four F’s…family, food, football and fun.  Whether you are traveling to Conshohocken, Pennsylvania or remaining at home it’s a time for families to reunite and renew traditions that have in many cases been passed down from one generation to another.

For some the day will start by attending a high school football game, among them the 94th meeting between Toms River South and Lakewood and maybe the shore’s best Turkey Day rivalry in which Manasquan will visit Wall.  That game as always will be broadcast on 1160 & 1310AM tomorrow morning at 11am.

Thanksgiving baskets prepared by staff and retirees from Manchester High School (Jane Williams)

Eating is not done as a meal but rather in stages and it often takes hours from the opening appetizers to the final deserts.  Each year I try and adopt this philosophy that it’s not a sprint but a marathon but before you know it you’re filled up and the turkey hasn’t even landed on the table yet.  It’s just a matter of time before you need to loosen your belt and if ever there was the perfect day for stretch pants this would be it.

With so many struggling in the post-Sandy era in our area it may be harder than ever to give thanks for our blessings and many will have to search long and hard to find the good things in life but they are out there.

Just put down the fork for a moment and look around and you’ll find something to be thankful for: those at the table with you.  Here’s hoping they don’t have to leave early to go to work. Better yet here’s hoping you’re not leaving early to go and shop.  That can wait but the coconut custard pie can’t.