By Jody Fuller
1 Thessalonians 5:18
In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
While we should give thanks every minute of every day, this is the time of year where we really put an emphasis on giving thanks for all that we have. It should also be the time of year when we give thanks for what we don’t have.
For example, on Thanksgiving I went to my best friend’s house to have lunch with him and his family. That evening I went to my mama’s house in Tallapoosa County for another festive feast. Both meals were absolutely to die for but something was missing: deviled eggs. I love deviled eggs, but none were to be found but what was found was thankfulness, because I’m the one who usually brings them, which means I didn’t have to go to the grocery store this past hectic holiday week.
I’ve been there and done that and want none of it. I worked at a grocery store for over eight years, and during the holidays, it was reminiscent of a Hank Williams Jr. song: You could send me hell or New York City, it’d be about the same to me. I actually have a couple of fancy deviled egg holder plate thingies, which is absolute proof that I rock the deviled eggs.
Back to my mama for a minute. Last week, I was the master of ceremonies for an event recognizing young students for outstanding leadership and other positive attributes. Each child received a Thanksgiving feast from a local charitable foundation with a turkey and all the trimmings that fed 10 to 12 people or four or five of me. There were over 300 kids in attendance.
I’m not accustomed to speaking to or trying to entertain kids still in the single digits, but I know how the special little girl in my life thinks, so I looked up some dumb jokes online that I thought they would appreciate. They probably could not have related to my original humor, so I adapted and overcame.
“What do you call a pig who knows karate?” I asked.
“Yo mama!” one of the kids on the front row shouted out.
His answer was, of course, incorrect. The correct answer was a porch chop. Get it? When you act it out like I did, it’s funnier.
It’s good to know that some things never change, because when I was that age “Yo mama” was the king of the comebacks.
Speaking of ham, I sure do love it. Mama always received one from work during the holidays when we were kids, so ham holds a special place in my heart, as well as in my stomach. Turkey has to be cooked just right for me to really enjoy it. Mama doesn’t care much for it, but she cooked it for us anyway, because that’s what mamas do. The turkey I had on Thanksgiving at both locations was delicious, but the ham at lunch was just that much better. I mean, really though as long as I’m surrounded by family and friends, I’d be fine with a pork chop.
It’s really the simple things that make this time of year so special: family, friends, ham and cranberry sauce that comes in the shape of a can. I’m a simple man, and for that, I am very thankful.
Jody Fuller is from Opelika. He is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please visit www.jodyfuller.com.