The Cure for a Turkey Hangover

November 23, 2012

Psalm 147:7

"Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving."

Reflection by Lillian Daniel

My extended family often gathers in South Carolina for Thanksgiving at a beautiful farm with a tiny little farm house. As the generations have expanded exponentially, we are pretty crowded in there, in a wonderful way. Everyone brings something, and we spend pretty much the whole day there, so the Thanksgiving meal ends up being breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner.

Each year, we say, "We ought to do this more often." Or at least the out of town guests like me say it, blissfully sheltered from the on-site logistics and precision planning required to pull it all together.

Then on Friday, there is always the question of what to do with everyone. Do we all go to another relative's house for another big meal? It seems silly to make something new when you have leftovers, so we bring them over to someone's house.

However, last year, it occurred to some smart person that there was a much simpler solution. We could simply leave all the food in the fridge at the farm and just come back on Friday and eat it all again. It's so obvious. Just extend Thanksgiving.

So what's the best cure for a Thanksgiving turkey hangover? A re-do. A little hair of the fowl that bit you.

In the psalms, we're constantly hearing about how much people loved giving prayers of thanksgiving. They sang, added instruments and gave thanks all year long.

The day after Thanksgiving, it occurs to me that we could learn something from that practice. There's nothing to prevent you from getting together with family and friends on any day of the year (cheaper plane fares and less traffic). There's nothing to prevent you from making a pumpkin pie and a turkey in February (when we may need some cheering up).

And more important than all of that, there's nothing to prevent you from saying thank you to God. Even on the day after Thanksgiving.

Prayer

Thank you, God, for spreading the lavish table of life in the first place. Amen.

About the Author
Lillian Daniel is the senior minister of First Congregational Church, Glen Ellyn, Illinois. She is the co-author of This Odd and Wondrous Calling: the Public and Private Lives of Two Ministers and author of the upcoming When "Spiritual But Not Religious" is Not Enough.

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