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Let's Talk Turkey On Thanksgiving Day


Dr. Christine Silverstein



Dr. Christine M. Silverstein's innovative Hypno-Coaching programs, ”Winning Ways for Teens,” “Operation Heal,” “Fertility Enhancement Coaching,” & “Winning Ways for Wrestlers,” assist clients to reach their ideal performances, using Mindful Toughness skillsets. She has presented her work on All Business Media TV & Radio interviews. As a gifted storyteller, in her latest book, Wrestling Through Adversity: Empowering Children, Teens, & Young Adults to Win in Life, she discusses the historical antecedents to our national mental health crisis of young people & provides approaches to overcome past traumas and become resilient in face of adversity.

In the Land of Plenty

I have the tendency, like many of us, to get caught up in the holiday frenzy of an idealized and glorified past by attempting to make the perfect meal on Thanksgiving--my favorite holiday--that satisfies the needs of every invitee. Holding significance, Thanksgiving has special meaning to me because my family members are descendants of those who arrived on the Mayflower.

On Thanksgiving morning, as a small child, I enjoyed helping my mom in the kitchen and watching her use her magic wand as she prepared the food for our family and 16 guests in our samll kitchen and served it with precision without a microwave or dishwasher. In my present life, each year I try to replicate her great recipes with the perfect stuffing, juicy turkey, and thick, tasty gravy, while worrying what guests might say about my culinary creations, which is to me a reality check of what I decidedly  want to change to nurture my soul, to rebalance myself, and to enjoy the festivities more this year, especially in light of all those who are experiencing food insecurity.

A Thanksgiving Off Key

There is a Thanksgiving Day that pops into my mind now when everything was not perfect as I imagined. My dad was partial to my mother's cooking and always wanted to host our celebratory dinner, but one year my aunt invited us to her home in New Jersey. We awoke early in the morning for the trip from Queens, NYC.

Our car was small to accommodate a family of seven. We had to pack it like canned sardines, with me sitting on a small wooden stool propped up by the locked back door. I could not see outside. My older sister, a teenager, whom my parents called "the Princess," entered the car first in pecking order and fluffed up her crinoline and full skirt across the back seat, taking up most of it and leaving little room for my other two sisters. My younger brother sat in the front seat with my parents. There were no seatbelts. 

We arrived promptly at our destination several hours later at about 1:00 pm, and much to my father's chargrin, my aunt had not yet put the large turkey in the oven because she forgot to defrost it ahead of time. So, the stiff, frozen, and neckless bird sat propped up in the kitchen sink under runnig water.

My aunt was a concert pianist, shared her gift of music by teaching piano to her students in her home, and had been so focused on a holiday recital that her Thanksgiving plans got off key.

After the turkey was finally defrosted and placed in the oven, it took many hours to cook. To bide the time, my father, a perfectionist, at some point must have realized that my aunt was not the gourmet German chef their father, my grandfather, had been and called out from the living room to say: "Hey Sis! How about playing some Chopin for us?" She resisted at first, while busy preparing the dinner, and stated that she wasn't well-rehearsed, but soon positioned herself comfortably at her baby  grand piano and entranced us all, while playing the most beautiful music I ever heard.

At long last, we were ready to serve the food, but the trek from the kitchen to the dining table was through the living room and down a perilous flight of stairs, with no handrail, into the finished  basement. We were ravenous by then. I remember the grapefruit was sour and puckered my lips, and the sweet potatoes were served in halved orange skins. We gobbled up the family feast and enjoyed it.

It was late in the evening when we completed our repast and reversed our trip home. Once again, the Princess positioned her stiff crinoline skirt on the back seat, while another sister snuggled me onto her lap as we all fell asleep, leaving my caring but tired father to drive us home safely in holiday traffic.




Let's Talk Turkey Now

During the telling of my Thanksgiving story, I recalled one of the most memorable events relating to this holiday, just in time in preparation for the feast and the gathering of my family this year. It never occurred to me before now the import of the traditional celebratiojn of giving to others that I enjoyed in my childhood, which although not ideal or perfect in any way as I have fantasized, turned out to teach me the real meaning of the holiday and the joy of sharing during these tumultuous times of sparicity and wars.

On that day way back when, I saw my father, although reluctant, drive what seemed to be an eternity to my aunt's home. Upon arrival, he was annoyed because he could not comprehend how she did not remember to defrost the turkey. To my mother, he asked: "What was she thinking?" But later, as he settled down and became more empathetic, he pardoned his sister, like the President does with turkeys at Thanksgiving, and saw her through different eyes.

My mom helped my aunt with the cooking and serving of the feast, and we took nothing for granted after the long wait. I benefited because I had never seen sheet music up close and had never heard my aunt play the piano, which all fascinated me. So, I am ready to serve up straight to the dining room table my revised mindset of harmony during my holiday feast next week. I welcome you to join me there by:

  • Remembering the purpose of the holiday
  • Expressing gratitude in our hearts for all we have
  • Humming a new tune
  • Accepting imperfection as the new perfection
  • Having Prosperity Consciousness in all that we do
  • Taking time to relax and rebalance
  • Finding what gives us true joy
  • Laughing out loud
  • Seeing others in a new light
  • Imagining ourselves smiling and happty, no matter what


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