On this last Thursday of November, as the year turns cold in the northern hemisphere, I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while:
Sarah Hale said to Abraham Lincoln in the land of America, “This month shall be for you the eleventh of months; it shall be the eleventh month of the year for you. Tell all the citizens of America that on the fourth Thursday of this month, they shall take every one a turkey according to their fathers’ houses, a large bird for a household; and if the household is too small for a turkey, then a man and his neighbor next to his house shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the turkey. Your turkey shall be large, a twelve-pounder at least, and almost too big for the oven. You can take it from among the wild turkeys or the brood in the barnyard. You shall keep it until the fourth Wednesday of the month, when all the citizens of America shall prepare their birds in the evening. They shall fill it with stuffing on the fourth thursday, in the morning, and cook the bird all day. They shall eat the flesh of it that night, roasted; or deep fried; or any other way they can think to prepare it. Do not eat any of it raw, or boiled, but roasted or fried and with stuffing. In this manner shall you eat it: with friends, over conversation and good feeling, and reasonable argument and conviviality. And you shall eat with gusto, and with mirth, until all are stuffed. And then you shall nap. It is the Thanksgiving of the Americans: the only day of the year when the Americans eat better than the French. This day shall you keep as a memorial day, as thanks for the goodly land, and the prosperity you enjoy in whatever form you enjoy it; throughout your generations you shall observe it for ever. Seven days you shall eat leftovers.”
With apologies to any Jewish readers, the text above is mine, adapted from Exodus 12 and the establishment of the first Thanksgiving as a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln, at the recommendation of New Englander, Sarah Hale.