holiday blog hiatus

Fantastic Mr. Fox illustration by Donald Chaffin, 1970 (via Vintage Kids' Books)

It’s that time of year again, when people gather from near and far, sidle up to bountiful tables and give thanks for life’s abundance.

As for me,  I’m already hearing that all-too-familiar gobble gobble, and my highly trained olfactories are picking up the aroma of yummy pumpkin pie baked with generous measures of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and ginger. Yes, I’m looking forward to a hearty meal with all the traditional fixin’s, but I know the real nourishment will come from sharing it with family and friends.

credit: Hungry Housewife/flickr

I’m giving myself plenty of time to reflect on what I’m thankful for this year. November, more than any other Fall month, is tinged with melancholy. Though it’s chock full of happy birthdays — friend John, brother-in-law Ron, cousin Leslie, godson Kyle, father James, husband Len, and mine (turning 29 this year ☺) — it’s also a time to celebrate the lives of those who left us in November, who won’t be at the Thanksgiving table: Aunty Ella, Aunty Ellen, and Cousin Liz. Even while you blow out the candles on your birthday cake, the deepest part of you knows that the light of remembrance is inextinguishable.

I will be offline until after Thanksgiving, when we will resume our holiday hijinx. To keep you out of trouble until I get back, enjoy these videos, Parts 4 and 5 from “The Thanksgiving Visitor,” based on a short story by Truman Capote first published in McCalls (1967). It was written 12 years after my all-time favorite short story, “A Christmas Memory,” and features Buddy and Cousin Sook. Unlike the joyous account of baking fruitcakes, “The Thanksgiving Visitor” reveals some of Capote’s childhood torment. In light of today’s widespread problem of bullying in the schools, there is an interesting “lesson” here for the victim. Unbeknownst to Buddy, Sook has invited the older boy who’s been bullying him to Thanksgiving dinner.

Here’s wishing you a joyful, delicious, heart-lifting Thanksgiving with your loved ones. Enjoy all the family chatter, the Macy’s Parade, the football games, the obligatory naps, and seconds and thirds of pecan and pumpkin pies. I am thankful for each and every one of you — my faithful, good-looking, eternally hungry blog readers!


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Copyright © 2011 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

16 thoughts on “holiday blog hiatus

  1. Have a happy, happy birthday, filled with chocolate, farm-fresh food, and good books, and a happy Thanksgiving filled with – anything that makes you thankful. 😀


  2. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Jama, and a happy 29th 🙂 May November be cozy, delicious, and filled with the light of remembrance, despite the shadows.


  3. Jama,

    I hope that you and your family had a grand Thanksgiving. I’m just beginning to catch my breath after a busy couple of weeks. My granddaughter Julia was baptized on November 13th. A few days later, I headed out to Chicago for the 2011 NCTE Annual Convention. It was great having an opportunity to celebrate the poetry of J. Patrick Lewis. Pat received the NCTE Poetry Award this year. I also had the occasion to visit with some of my favorite poets and bloggers–including Pat, Janet Wong, Nikki Grimes, Joyce Sidman, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Laura Salas, Heidi Mordhorst, Sara Holbrook, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, Arnold Adoff, Sylvia Vardell, and others. Once I returned home from Chicago, I was busy with preparations for Thanksgiving. It was a really special holiday this year because I got to celebrate it with my little love Julia.

    November is a month for birthdays in family too. My father, one of my grandnephews, one of my first cousins, and I were born in November. My father also died in early November in 1984. It’s a bitterseet month for me too.


  4. Happy Birthday, Elaine! What a busy month you’ve had! The NCTE Conference sounds wonderful — so glad you got to reconnect with so many poetry friends :). I can only imagine what fun it was to celebrate Thanksgiving with little Julia Anna this year — and Christmas is coming up, so there’ll be even more exciting things to experience. Will you be reading “The Night Before Christmas” to her?


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