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Rowe: Giving thanks 2017

It seems the Christmas holidays arrive a little earlier every year, thanks in part to retailers pushing to get every sale they can.

All this pre-holiday, Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday hype has everybody confused. The stores are already crowded with shoppers and almost everywhere you go, yards and houses are decorated and more than a few houses have still have a ghost or skeleton and pumpkins sitting right alongside the manger scene and Santa and his reindeer.

Macy's has already held their annual lighting of “The Great Tree,” littles ones have been delighted in riding Priscilla the Pink Pig and Santa Claus has even been making a few appearances. Before Halloween was even here my mom and dad had me searching for Frosty the Snowman to add to their outdoor decorations and, of course, I did, but I drew the line at scaling the roof and trees to get all the lights up.

Maybe my grinchy side is starting to come through a little, but, can’t we at least wait til the first day of December to start celebrating Christmas?

At our house, we’re not rushing anything. I’m looking forward to just spending Thanksgiving Day with family, friends and my sweetheart. You can’t put a price on time spent with the special people in your life that give you extra reasons to be thankful.

Thanksgiving is going to be a little different this year with my sweetheart in charge. He assured me he knows his way around the kitchen and the best way to cook a turkey, so, we're in for a treat. It will be interesting to see if his smoked turkey is better than my deep fried turkey but as long as he’s cooking he wont get any complaints from me.

The real secret in making a man happy is to giving him a grill and the proper utensils and putting him in charge of dinner. Now he might mess up the first few times but once he gets the hang of it, you better watch out because anything is fair game to a man and his grill and smoker.

I’ll let you in on a little secret about deep frying turkeys. My favorite country music singer, Tracy Lawrence, has taken part in assisting the Nashville Rescue Mission in preparing Thanksgiving dinner to feed the needy and homeless in the Nashville area for the last 12 years. With donations and support from other artists, businesses and the community, he and his helpers begin deep frying turkeys from well before daybreak and all day until the last one is served. Tracy began frying turkeys for friends and neighbors several years prior to taking on this annual mission and admitted that one year he forgot to put the turkeys out to thaw properly, but you might say the redneck in him saved the day. He came up with an ingenious way to thaw the turkeys by tossing them in his hot tub, then frying them and proudly presenting his gift to his unsuspecting friends and neighbors.

Maybe my daughter knows something I don’t because she gave me the third degree when she found out turkey would indeed be on the Thanksgiving menu. It didn’t seem to matter to her that it was white meat, which is tastier and better for you. She may be grown with views and ideas of her own, but you would think she’d been abducted and brainwashed by aliens because she certainly wasn’t raised that way.

She was mortified to think that some poor turkey gave his life and, it being the main course of our Thanksgiving meal, I had a hand in its demise. Luckily for her, our family isnt into hunting and bringing their game home for meals but that could be changing. Her 5-year-old daughter hasnt made the connection between “Henry,” the live turkey who visited school last week and the Thanksgiving meal we partook in. When we passed the big Turkey Shoot, Isabella asked me if she could go shoot a turkey and even after explaining it to her, she still wanted to go when shes old enough.

Now, where I come from, after lunch is over and we’ve cleaned up, the men head back to the kitchen, but not for a second helping or for deserts. There’s a reason we always have a plentiful supply of red Dixie cups and paper towels or napkins at every Parker family get together and it’s all about the men. All the Parker men seem to have inherited certain habits and one is this desire that defines a true, Southern redneck—chewing, dipping or spitting.

We don’t believe in just sitting around getting happily stuffed and lazy after our meals. There’s usually some type of physical activity whether its horseshoe toss, a softball or football game going on, but only for those willing to part with their chew. Taking part in certain physical activities with a fresh wad of chew can create unpleasant side effects, especially if you’re caught off guard. There is a reason they put those warning labels on tobacco products but to rednecks they know there’s more to it than possible long-term effects.

Getting tangled up in the Christmas lights with my sweetheart and snugling by a bonfire sure sounds better than joining the crowds and madness over Black Friday. Besides, I'm not quite ready for fruitcake and eggnogs yet.

May you all have a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving, however you choose to celebrate.

Beth Rowe is a columnist who sees the world around her and tells it like it is. She may be reached at