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Stop and smell the Turkey

Stop and smell the Turkey
By Roger L. Thompson
There is an old phrase that many of us grew up hearing from those much older and wiser. As I get older, the phrase means more to me all of the time.  I can still hear the words “Stop and smell the roses” coming from so many people as I was hurrying through life. The next event in my life was taking precedent over the present reality I was living and not fully experiencing. I have missed so much of life because I did not take time to “stop and smell the roses” along the way.
According to, “the phrase stop and smell the roses is an admonition to slow down and enjoy life, to take the time to savor the beauty around you, to relax. The expression “stop and smell the roses” came into use in the 1960s and is a rephrasing of a sentiment found in an autobiography written by the golfer Walter Hagen: “Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” This passage was soon paraphrased as “stop and smell the roses.” 
It seems to me that with every passing year, we fly by other events and holidays to get to Christmas. Some of this is driven by the business community wanting to get a head start on Christmas sales. It seems today, that if you don’t have your tree up by Halloween, you are missing the holiday spirit. For businesses that wait until after Thanksgiving to decorate and advertise for Christmas, they are left out in the Christmas cold with dismal sales. By Thanksgiving, some stores are already running 60 percent off sales on Christmas decorations and gift items preparing for Easter.  Wow, how times have changed.
We are running so fast to the next holiday in the future that we are missing an important part of the present. We are purchasing the perfect present to give to someone when really the perfection is often being  present with family at Thanksgiving.
I believe it is time to “Stop and smell the Turkey.”  The history of our great nation is built on individuals and families from overseas coming to America to experience a new life where they could honor their God and worship as they pleased, to live in freedom and to enjoy their families. From the early trips of the explorers to the Pilgrims arriving in 1620, there was a hunger for a new life that was filled with gratitude and dedication to have a life that was focused on God, family and freedom. These ancestors laid the groundwork that led to the formation of the United States of America.  It is interesting that history records the early feast where families and new acquaintances sat together and enjoyed the harvest from the land. They sat together and gave thanks for one another and the great freedoms they experienced.
Let’s talk time to “stop and smell the turkey.” Let’s take time to gather around our tables with family and friends and give thanks. Let’s take time for each person to express to those around the table of what they are thankful for in their lives. As we listen to others, we all realize that we still live in the greatest nation in the world. We will realize the freedom and abundance we have as we share a meal with family. We will realize that in the midst of emerging from a pandemic and with a world still filled with conflict, we have so much to give thanks for in our lives.  
This year, Pamela and I will have a brand new guest at our table, our new great-granddaughter Lillie Mae.  She was born last August. Not only is she very beautiful and precious, but is a reminder that life is also beautiful and precious. We give thanks as a family that with each new life that enters our family, for after all when it is “all said and done,” the only thing that really matters is family and those around you. 
You know, another benefit of stopping and smelling the turkey and giving thanks, it does put us in the right frame of mind to truly honor the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as we head into the Christmas season.
Happy Thanksgiving, may we all take time to “stop and smell the Turkey.” 

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