Column: Thanksgiving’s over… let’s get the tree!



I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving. I certainly did — cooking my turkey here and then bringing it to my 95-year-old mother’s house in Northport. Other guests showed up and we had a wonderful time.

This was one of the few times I cooked a bird that had been frozen. I always thought fresh killed was better.

No one seemed to taste a difference.

My son even said, “Dad, this is first turkey that you’ve cooked that has not been all dried out.”

I guess that’s a compliment.

On the way back to the Island on Friday, I noticed many large trucks on the expressway loaded with Christmas trees, and they all seemed to be headed to the North and South Forks.

In an effort to avoid the Black Friday shoppers in Riverhead, I left the L.I.E. at the exit before Tanger.

I drove on the north road the whole way to Greenport.

All along the agri-tainment corridor most vehicles were carrying Christmas trees on their roofs. I guess they were bringing these “fresh” trees to their homes in the western parts of Long Island.

During Thanksgiving dinner my niece and her husband were talking about making a day of it on Saturday — go to the North Fork, pick up a “local” tree, see Santa and go to their favorite vineyard.

My reply was, “Isn’t it a bit early? It’s still November!”

I was told, “Uncle Dick, this is the Christmas season. It’s much longer than it was when you were young.”

How right they were.

I remember as a child in the 1950s that my family did not even think about a tree until a week before Christmas Day. I would go to one of the local nurseries with my father and he’d pick out the perfect tree (which probably did come down from Vermont the day after Thanksgiving). He would string the lights first, then the rest of us could decorate this “perfect” tree.

Digging way back, I can see faces of individuals who appeared especially happy at this time — the shopkeepers, the bus drivers, the teachers. We did have school until the day before Christmas Eve.

I felt good fellowship in the air. And it all ended abruptly with New Year’s Day. Back to school the next day.

So what did I do last Saturday? I bought 10 wreaths and placed them in each window and on the front door of my house.

They sure look fine. And I like this idea of a longer Christmas season for all!

Meanwhile, Senior Center Director Laurie Fanelli told me about the Friendly Visitor Program that is being instituted on the Island.

“It’s guided by the policies and procedures developed by the Suffolk County office for aging. The goal is to relieve loneliness and isolation as well as provide a personal connection to the community,” Laurie said, adding that the program matches carefully screened volunteers with socially isolated seniors.

If you think that you could be a Friendly Visitor or you know someone who might benefit, give Laurie a call at the Senior Center, (631) 749-1059.