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Opinion: Blessings, safety this holiday weekend

This is the beginning of the holiday season. Parties and adult beverages will flow too often too freely. Take time to get a designated driver because nobody wants your mug shot on their Christmas card.

The news calls Thanksgiving week the heaviest travel week of the year. Passengers on foreign flights are being advised to arrive at the airport three hours ahead of their departure time. Domestic travelers should be at the airport two hours before their flights take-off.

Now that the Thanksgiving holiday has come and gone Christmas is just 25 days away. Even if it is a made-up holiday Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for all the things good in your life. Families gathered around the dinner table, turkey, ham and all the traditional dishes that make family meals memorable.

In our house, the banana pudding was a big star. Not a complicated dish, vanilla wafers, sliced bananas and a combination of banana and vanilla pudding. The topping was either meringue or whip cream. Even though it is a simple dessert, we never had it except Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Also on the holidays, my family would serve stuffed celery. Assorted cheese spreads or my favorite peanut butter loaded on celery, a green vegetable I can live without.

My Aunt Clara Banks’ chocolate pie was the best I ever tasted. Every time her daughters made her chocolate pie it made me remember her fondly. One cousin said to me one year it was just chocolate pudding in a pie shell with meringue or cool whip on top of it.

He didn’t understand it was a taste from childhood that brought back times and family gone.

Desserts on the holidays are always a big deal. We didn’t have many desserts in our house. My parents were always battling the weight monster so they decided to reserve desserts for special occasions. Looking at the three of us, we didn’t suffer for it.

We always had black Oberti olives on the buffet.

One year I tried to recreate the Thanksgiving meals of my childhood for my husband and me. I never cared for cranberries so I didn’t bother with them, they just show up to add a little color to the table.

I made the celery, a turkey and mashed potatoes. The gravy turned out horrible as usual, no surprise there. I got most of the food hot and to the table at one time. Fred just shook his head and looked at me. Then he said “White People.”

I thought that was hilarious. I wasn’t offended because he is Native American and I’m a mixture of some Native American, some Irish, some Scottish and unless I do one of those DNA tests who knows what else.

Racial epitaphs have never made me feel either better or worse about myself. I am an American and that is good enough for me.

My wish for this Thanksgiving is for everyone to enjoy your families, don’t discuss politics and love each other. Look around the table. You never know which of those chairs will be empty next year. Treat your family like you treat your friends. The ones you like that you want to like you too.

Long days and pleasant nights, have a good weekend.

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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.

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