Joe Henderson: This Thanksgiving, it’s a good idea to ignore the noise and be grateful

Thanksgiving Day food. Various grilled vegetables ,roasted chicken or turkey and pumpkin with sunflowers decoration on dark background, top view, banner
Tell somebody "thank you," and maybe do something that makes another person say the same to you.

The pastor at my church Sunday made an interesting point about the holiday that is upon us.

Do we pronounce it THANKSgiving (emphasis on the thanks), or should it be thanksGIVING?

The obvious answer, of course, is that it should be both.

As Floridians prepare to gather around the table again on Thursday, I think we’ll all give thanks that most of us can do that safely. We also should acknowledge the sacrifices doctors, nurses, researchers, and vaccine-makers made in this past year to help pull us through.

There’s no need to recite the misery that COVID-19 inflicted in 2020. We all know what it was like. To know where we are, though, we must first know where we were.

Vaccinations and boosters have made a huge difference since then — and boy, I give thanks for that — and infection rates in Florida have steadily dropped in recent months.

Thanks for that.

Maybe we’re not fully out of the woods yet, but for today, at least, I believe we’ll be more than content to bask in the glow of being together again.

Pass the potatoes, please.

Pecan pie, anyone?

Let’s watch some football.

Hugs all around.

Yes, it has been too long since we all were together.

Yeah, the store shelves are a little emptier than just a few months ago, and things cost a lot more now. Economists say it’s like that all over the world, but this, too, shall pass.

None of this ignores what a melancholy day it will be in far too many households in Florida and around the globe. Holidays can be highly stressful times for many people, and that is especially true this year.

There will be empty chairs at dinner and too many absent friends. Many frontline workers may be too exhausted to feel like giving thanks, and that’s understandable. I hope they know millions of people give thanks for them.

We fought over so much in the last year, too.

Should masks be mandatory?

Can employers order workers to either be vaccinated or lose their jobs?

Was Jan. 6 an insurrection, or, as one U.S. Senator said, just a normal tourist day at the U.S. Capitol Building?

The election was stolen.

No, it wasn’t.

Yes, it was.




Anyone but DeSantis!

Enough already.

For this day at least, I’ll check my argumentative side at the door. It’s the first Thanksgiving for my new grandson, and I would celebrate that even if the dinner was a tuna surprise. This last year reminded us that people matter more than money, power, or stature.

My heart melts at that little guy’s wonderful grin when he sees me and holds out his arms in my direction.

Yeah, I’m a political columnist for this site. That means I’m supposed to have an opinion that may not align with yours, but I also have a soft side.

I receive plenty of reminders that not everyone agrees with my point of view.

However, I even give thanks for that because it means we live in a nation where we can question authority and opinions. People can freely say what’s on their minds, and it’s not that way in too many other places.

So, for a few days at least, let’s lighten up and reboot.

Next year, there’s an election guaranteed to divide the nation, but let’s not worry about that now.

Tell somebody “thank you,” and maybe do something that makes another person say the same to you.

Both of you will feel better.

Oh, and no matter how you pronounce it, happy Thanksgiving, one and all.

Joe Henderson

I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. Florida is wacky, wonderful, unpredictable and a national force. It's a treat to have a front-row seat for it all.


  • Charles

    November 23, 2021 at 9:21 pm



  • Tom

    November 24, 2021 at 9:18 pm

    Nice of you Joe to call a cease fire.
    Gobble, Gobble, Gobble.
    I notice you referred to America’s Governor a few times.

    Enjoy your inflation turkey dinnerJoe, thanks to Jimmy Biden, I mean Joe Carter, excuse me, I I mean Joe Biden. I also wish giggles Harris some happy turkey.

    Enjoy Joe!


  • Kathy

    November 25, 2021 at 5:20 am

    Happy Thanksgiving Joe.
    I am so thankful for many things. I am thankful when these morons who offer me the chance to be a gazillionaire, working only 20 hours a month, miss posting to your columns.
    Have a wonderful day.


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