November 26th, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #676 'In leftover heaven … and thankful for it'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: Presidents have long recognized the unifying power of citizens being thankful. And heaven knows we could use that now.

Dear Mr. President,

In many ways I enjoy the day after Thanksgiving more than T-Day itself. All the pressure of preparing for the big meal is over. The morning stretches out easily and more important, the leftovers crouch in the refrigerator just waiting.

There is simply nothing that compares with a few slices of turkey, some stuffing, and a steamy ladle of gravy soaking through it all. Heaven on a plate.

I also like to think more about this business of being thankful on the day after. It’s easy to be thankful on the holiday itself, because we surround ourselves with family, friends, and all kinds of wonderful foods. We laze around watching football games and chatting. We indulge in sloth, gluttony, and probably a good many other vices.

But the day after is more like real life. There are chores to be tended to, likely some extra dishes to be packed away, floors to be mopped again. Thoughts turn to Christmas shopping, decorations, and all the hum drum of our regular existence. And I try to remind myself that this is what we should truly be thankful for - the extraordinary day to day wealth of our land and our people.

Despite all the early tales of Thanksgiving, as practiced by the pilgrims and consecrated by George Washington, it didn’t become an annual event until Abraham Lincoln made it so in an attempt to foster some sort of better feelings against the backdrop of the Civil War. The times were so bad, the very nature of the holiday had to be an appreciation for small pleasures and basic needs fulfilled.

So on this day after Thanksgiving, I hope that is what is coming to you and many of our fellow citizens; a feeling of thanks not for our triumph over difficulties, but for all who help us endure them.

I hope you get some rest. Call if you can.


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

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