For the Love of Thanksgiving

By: Kathy Kelsey Foley, director on November 26th, 2014

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. No surprise. What’s not to like about a family-and-friends-based celebration focused on food and predicated on acknowledging all that we have to be thankful for? The Pilgrims and our country’s founding fathers most certainly got this right.

I love the idea that no one is excluded from the Thanksgiving table. There is no right or wrong menu; each gathering family or group selects the dishes and recipes that are meaningful, enjoyed, or traditional.


Cookbooks, magazines, newspapers, the Food Network, and more devote chapters, articles, recipes, and hours of programming to further our love of Thanksgiving and its abundant dishes.

Last year, The New York Times put forth the “Essential Thanksgiving,” describing the robust special section as: “Your guide to the year’s most important meal, with our best recipes, techniques and tricks. Consider these building blocks, then make the feast your own.”

This year the Times has served up “The United States of Thanksgiving,” scouring the country for recipes that evoke each of the fifty states as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Of course, the fourth Thursday of November should be about more than food. It is, as the Pilgrims recognized, “post-harvest,” and today it also signals the start of the holiday season. But as its name implies, Thanksgiving should remind us all to dig a bit deeper and think about our privileges as well as our challenges and triumphs. It is a day to be truly thankful.

While enjoying dinner with friends tomorrow, I’ll certainly be thinking of all the things that have filled my life and work these past twelve months. And, I’ll be back at the Museum on Friday, ready to tackle my work, with Thanksgiving leftovers and memories providing fuel for the body and warmth for the soul.

PS. If you’re out and about post-Thanksgiving and looking for a special way to entertain visiting family and friends, the Woodson Art Museum is open Friday, November 28, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, November 29 and 30, Noon – 5:00 p.m. Among the exhibitions on view, 50 Greatest National Geographic Photographs offers as much diversity as coast-to-coast Thanksgiving menus!


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