Publisher’s Point: A Thanksgiving Thesaurus

By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

Next week is Thanksgiving, and it is ramping up to be one of the strangest on record. I was sorely tempted to devote this entire space and my questionable creative energies toward being “shocked-and-giggly” at California Governor Newsom’s directives, but I really do want to be positive here. That’s because we genuinely have a lot for which to be thankful, and newsflash, it’s ok to be thankful to God in Heaven.

So, I have selected three of my favorites from California COVID, (not to be confused with California Dreamin’) and then we’ll move on to the Thesaurus.

  • People who are singing or chanting are strongly encouraged to do so quietly (at or below the volume of a normal speaking voice). “Children, use your inside voice,” said the Nanny State.

Regarding said directive, I honestly wonder what would happen if the Iron Bowl were being played on Thanksgiving Day and we all moved to California for the day just to watch it? Me thinks that college football fans would rather pay a hefty fine than use their inside voices, and we could bring the Golden State back from the brink of bankruptcy while we are at it!

“Going out to eat with members of your household this weekend? Don’t forget to keep your mask on in between bites. Do your part to keep those around you healthy. #SlowtheSpread” So, weren’t Californians instructed to not touch their face, nose or eyes, and doesn’t masking and unmasking between bites involve touching one’s face, like, a lot?

And, now it’s time for number three of the Triple Crown of Coronavirus in California:

  • Instrumental music is allowed as long as the musicians maintain at least 6-foot physical distancing. Musicians must be from one of the three households. Playing of wind instruments (any instrument played by the mouth, such as a trumpet or clarinet) is strongly discouraged.

As long as I am pulling from pop songs that are over a half century old, would this be the place to refer to The Day The Music Died? Does it send a chill down anyone else’s spine to have a governor tell state residents that instrumental music is allowed? And, what self-respecting law enforcement officer is going to sign up for enforcing the Thanksgiving Trumpet Tribunal rulings?

OK, I am done having fun, and I do know that people have to do what they have to do to cope well with COVID. So, maybe it’s time for a Thanksgiving Thesaurus, and to focus on all that’s well with the world, in this, the most amazing nation in the history of the planet. It’s time to give thanks to God, or as the old hymn says, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow…” (Please note that the hymnist wrote in an unabashed and no doubt ecstatic state of grammatical correctness!)

The word thesaurus was first from the Greek language, and like so many words in English found its way to Latin. It means, “treasure, treasury, storehouse.” If you look up the word, “thanksgiving” in said book, here’s what you will find as ways to celebrate a holiday that is truly American, COVID or no COVID:

Appreciation, appreciativeness, gratefulness, gratitude, thankfulness, thanks. If you throw in the entry for the word “gratitude,” you also have the following treasures from the storehouse: acknowledgment, appreciativeness, grace, gratefulness, honor, indebtedness, obligation, praise. And finally, if you come to the last possibility allowed by the thesaurus for thanksgiving, you finish off with invocation, benediction, thanks, petition, blessing.

Any way you slice this bird, this is the day to give bolf thanks for the fact that we are blessed, alive and kickin,’ and as far as I am concerned, you don’t have to use your inside voice to tell Him so. Happy Thanksgiving!
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner