Thanksgiving 2022

It’s Thanksgiving 2022. How’s your food prep going? What’s the pie plan? Are you deep frying the bird? Your place or somewhere else? Lions fan? Weekend plans? I’m really looking forward to TG22 in our cozy place, surrounded by family and friends.

Some people simply don’t like Thanksgiving due to some unfortunate historical events that lead to the US as we know it today. Others dislike the gluttony of it, as if we’re not like that all year ’round. As for me, I could eat Pumpkin pie every day of my life, as long as there’s a copious stack of whipped cream atop that beautiful triangle. Pumpkin pie without whipped cream is an affront to the created order of Thanksgiving. Have you tried Pumpkin Pie without whipped cream? It’s like eating vitamins. Mashed potatoes have gravy, the Detroit Lions have losing, and Pumpkin Pie has whipped cream, followed by regret. Did I really just eat that much pie?

Pumpkin pie without whipped cream disappoints even the jolliest Grandma. The Lions playing on Thanksgiving tends to disappoint, but maybe not this year. It’s a new regime.

I wonder if some folks dislike Thanksgiving because it brings up bad memories and/or reminds them of what they wish they had but don’t. The last few Thanksgivings were like that for me. I was in a bad spot, not by my own doing, but by the powers of addiction and the resulting destruction of my family. It became commonplace to ignore the fact that she was high, pretending to be normal, which may be the most dysfunctional thing I could’ve done. For the sake of protecting my kids, I’d carry on in the prescribed manner, eliminating as much of the disaster as I could from their young eyes. All holidays became a balancing act between managing a strung-out adult while making a place for happy memories for the kids. It was like blowing bubbles with one hand for the kids while simultaneously extinguishing a fire with the other hand.

They say that you don’t know you’re in the good old days until after you’ve left them. I’ve discovered that you don’t know you’re in the bad old days until after you’ve left them, too. Living with an addict is dreadful, but you don’t realize how dreadful it is until you’re in a new phase of life, as I am now.

I don’t even remember what we did for Thanksgiving a few years ago. I have to strain my brain to remember a “normal” holiday from the distant past. Recently it came to me: I didn’t like Thanksgiving — or any of the other big family days — because it was always an even higher level of crisis than usual. Addiction is a disaster that causes disaster. Yes, there is help and hope, but the addict has to accept it. It never happened. So, I’d just kept eating Pumpkin Pie and watching the Lions lose, proving to my kids that it was okay and that it was going to be ok. This is survival mode: something is obviously wrong and not getting better, but it’s out of your control, so you press on. “It’s fine.”

That’s really what Pumpkin Pie without whipped cream is like. “It’s fine.”

No, it’s not.

Tomorrow I’ll celebrate Thanksgiving like never before, with five kids at the table instead of three, and a wife/partner/soulmate/lover who I will join in making Thanksgiving what it’s meant to be: a time of giving thanks, being with family, counting our blessings, and Pumpkin Pie.

Both Mac and Zac said that this will be our first normal/good/exciting holiday in 7 years. It hasn’t been like this in a long, long time.

Today I’m thankful for my wife, my kids, and a new era of life that gloriously reflects the grace of God in the healing and redemption of a really screwed up situation. I can’t even put words to it, but I thought I’d try.

May you be blessed this Holiday season. May you recognize that God is with you, whether you’re feeling it or not. May you come to the realization that situations, no matter how wonderful or tragic, don’t have power over our choice to trust Jesus in all things. He will work it out, though I don’t know how. I know this: we’d be lost without Him and remarkably incomplete, like Pumpkin Pie without whipped cream.

About radamdavidson

When I'm not blogging, I'm hanging out with my family, pastoring a church, or listening to vinyl. I think and write about Jesus, music, communication, organizational leadership, family whatnot, and cultural artifacts from the 1980's -- mostly vintage boomboxes. You can read my blog at, watch [RadCast], a daily 3 minute video devotional, or find me on socials (@radamdavidson). I also help Pastors in their preaching and public speaking (
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