Happy Thanksgiving Eve
The evening before Thanksgiving Day itself, the family would gather for the traditional Thanksgiving Eve lighting of the celebratory candle, which, when positioned on a north-facing windowsill, would guide visitors in from the raging storm to safety. Bowls of hand-wrapped hard candies placed near the front door were kept filled to overflowing, in anticipation of the arrival of the Great Meleagris gallopavo himself.
Father would recite the fifteen verses of O, Thanksgiving Day Blessings, Gratitude and Thanks*, then don a headpiece of freshly plucked plumage and a cape of black feathers, and climb up on the rooftop in the waning sunlight, accordion in hand. Thus balanced, he would welcome the Thanksgiving Eve sunset with a melodious gobble and chant that joined in robustly with rising voices throughout the town.
By midnight, the children’s eyes were drooping and beds were calling out wee names. Tiny Lizabeth-Anne recalls her mother hustling her up the stairs with whispers that by dawn the Great Meleagris gallopavo will have brought so many presents that the living room would be nearly overflowing with gifties. Soon, children asleep, Mother and Father would race through the last critical stages of gift-wrapping, hiding the last eggs, and scattering the turkey droppings around the hearth.
*One verse of O, Thanksgiving Day Blessings, Gratitude and Thanks:
On this day, we give thanks for our famileeeee. With blessings, gratitude and thanks.
Thanks for our family, for our feast, for our foooood, and for the cake left out in the raaaaaain.
We sing this thanks to you, o great Meleagris gallopavo, who guided our ancestors in their search for clams, eggs, soybeans and truuuuuuffles.
Thank you, o great Meleagris gallopavo, for not lighting our house on fiiiiire this year!