- The Washington Times - Monday, November 20, 2017

Recently sidelined by a nasty cold for several days, I found myself turning to daytime television for distraction from the nagging insinuation that I should have bought stock in Kleenex tissues and Procter & Gamble’s Vicks — the daytime, nighttime, all-around brand that tackles many of the symptoms related to ears, eyes, noses and throats.

And if Vicks doesn’t knock them out, it’ll suspend your thought processes long enough to think the boob tube is a font of information.

By Friday, though, I was awakened to the truth, groggy enough over four days to realize that daytime TV had pulled off the ultimate heist.

Daytime TV stole the meaning of Thanksgiving.

There was endless Thanksgiving chatter, mind you.

About turkeys and whether to bake or smoke them, just please don’t fry them and set yourself and your house afire.

About the stuffing and dressing debate. (FYI: It’s made with cornbread, celery and onions, and stuffed into the bird, and my North Carolinian goddaughter won’t eat it no matter what you call it.)

And the other side dishes. (Chiefly, the must-haves such as homemade mashed white potatoes, string beans, collard greens with mac and cheese, and candied sweets.)

All that nonsense from the TV gabbers about asparagus and raspberry dressing. Forget about it. The peak season in the United States for both is spring, and the thought of drizzling raspberry anything on homemade cornbread stuffing is a culinary offense.

Listen, I thought I was having nightmares when I kept hearing “Friendsgiving” and “What to do with the ‘Friendsgiving’ table.”

So before I watched the Washington Redskins hand a victory to New Orleans, a food capital of the world, I Googled “Friendsgiving” and learned that, for the most part, it’s Thanksgiving with faith and family aspects.

There are libations, of course, but the giving of thanks was sent to Purgatory along with fat, calories and tradition.

Really, people.

That’s like trashing good ol’ Natty Boh for an overpriced tawny port because it’s, well, “Friendsgiving Day.”

The day is about the thanks first and the giving second.

Give thanks because you woke up and are blessed enough to have a home to give thanks for family and friends.

Give thanks because you were blessed to have a spread on the table, no matter how modest, because of the starvation around the globe.

Give thanks because the traditional Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade bleeds into another tradition — NFL football — which will occupy hangers-on ‘til ‘round midnight.

Give thanks that in a pinch, you can pour yourself a toddy and click to home-style diva Martha Stewart’s website for last-minute tips even if you don’t have a dining room or a dining room table.

You can also go old school and learn why dried, store-bought breadcrumbs and chicken broth are no substitutes for easy make-at-home cornbread stuffing and potlikker. (Thank you, National Council of Negro Women.)

And if you’re really stressed, send up your thanks and prayers right now.

The important things are to give thanks and to enjoy the family, friends and meal (and lots of football).

Time to take Thanksgiving back.

Deborah Simmons can be contacted at dsimmons@washingtontimes.com.

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