Nov 17, 2009

A Thanksgiving carol

by Emily DeFosse

Charles Dickens wrote the Christmas classic, “A Christmas Carol.” We are all familiar with the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the Christmas Eve visitors that remind him of the meaning of Christmas. Just as Scrooge was in need of a little reminder about the reason for Christmas, we could all use the same type of refresher course on Thanksgiving.

As you and your roommate sit around your dorm room, reading the Champion, prepare yourselves for a visit from the Ghost of Thanksgiving Past.

The Ghost of Thanksgiving Past is an average-sized man in pilgrim attire. His large black boots bang on the tile floor of your dorm room and immediately catch your attention.

“Come with me,” is all he says as he immediately transports you to a place you have only seen in movies. You realize you have been taken to Plymouth, Mass. The year is 1621.

Pilgrims and Indians are gathered together feasting on copious amounts of food. It is a joyous celebration, not unlike your own family’s Thanksgiving feast when the whole extended family gathers together.

You enjoy watching the festivities, until the Ghost of Thanksgiving Past leads you to a nearby field. Wooden crosses mark the graves of the many pilgrims who died since their arrival on Plymouth Rock.

“How can they still be so joyful?” you ask the ghost.

“They have come a long way,” the ghost replies. “Many died, but as a whole they have found freedom, friendship and a new life. They will never forget those who died, but they are thankful because God has seen them through and given them hope for a future here.”

Immediately you are returned to your dorm room, and before you get a chance to sit back down, an old woman appears and introduces herself as the Ghost of Thanksgiving Present.

Within seconds you are in your family’s living room. You smell the turkey and pumpkin pie and cannot help wanting to dive into the delicious feast in front of you.

You watch your family members sit down to eat, and after a brief prayer they begin to hold a typical Thanksgiving conversation. They discuss the generic things they are thankful for — health, freedom, family and friends. Then immediately the one-minute conversation on thankfulness turns to an hour-long discussion about football, a political debate and children talking about what they want for Christmas.

Your thoughts immediately turn back to the pilgrims you saw earlier. They had lost so much, and had a hard road ahead of them, yet they were genuinely thankful. The scene you see before you know is only a group of people who have gathered for food, football and conversation.

Once again you arrive back in your dorm room, where a cloaked black figure is waiting for you. You can only assume it is the ghost of Thanksgiving Yet to Come. It says nothing, and in the blink of an eye you see a grayer, rounder, wrinklier you, but it is you nonetheless.

Future you is sitting at a computer in an office. It is the fourth Thursday in November and the office is bustling with activity. You look at the ghost and ask why everyone is working.

“Thanksgiving is no longer a holiday,” it says. “Over time people were more concerned with holidays like Halloween and Christmas where they could receive endless amount of candy and presents. They had everything they could possibly want and could find nothing to be thankful for.”

Back in your dorm room you begin to pack for the trip home, and instead of complaining about how you hate packing, do not want to drive eight hours and have too much work to do over the break, you realize you have friends, a family, a roof over your head, clothes on your back and every reason to be thankful.

Contact Emily DeFosse at

Printable Version

» China to lift one child ban
» From the desk
» Pittsylvania woman to be executed
» BP oil spill: The hits keep coming