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Every one of us has mementoes that remind us of significant people and moments in our lives. I have a tobacco jar that is at least 50 years old that was used by my deceased father for storage of tobacco for his pipe. On my wall is a home-made calendar created by a friend of mine with pictures of our shared trip to Ireland. On another wall is a pictured colored by my deceased Mother. On a bookshelf is a stainless steel tablet on which is written “Pax et Bonum” (Latin words for “Peace and Good”) which – 50 years ago – Capuchins kissed and passed around as a sign of brotherhood before the kiss of peace became popular in the Mass.
At Christmas time we hear the story of the three wise men traveling from the east looking for the new-born king of the Jews whose star they had observed and were following. When they finally found the home of Joseph, Mary and Jesus they each presented a gift to Jesus.
When I was in 8th grade I had this huge adolescent crush on Mary Jackson (not her real name). She was the most popular girl in my class, a leader, an athlete, and one who had the cutest set of blond curls. For most of the school year I simply pined away without attempting to let her know of my affection for her.
A “groaning board” is an old expression of a table laden with food. Many a home this year will have its dining room table become a groaning board with double or triple the amount of normal food for the Thanksgiving meal: turkey, but also ham; not only mashed potatoes but also sweet potatoes, stuffing and yams; dishes of peas, carrots and corn; a lettuce and bean salad; a pumpkin pie, but maybe also an apple and mincemeat pie too. All to be washed down with glasses of water, red and white wine. Indeed, at Thanksgiving for most of us, the dining room table becomes a groaning board.