Where are the turkeys this year?


The headlines are not encouraging:

“Thanksgiving turkey prices may be more expensive and birds harder to find.”

“Turkey shortage, supply chain issues may change what’s on the table.”

"Thanksgiving turkey options may be limited this year.”

 Apparently, the shortage applies to smaller birds. Last month, Consumer Reports shared that the production of fresh turkeys is expected to be down 1.4 percent compared to last year, and smaller birds will be harder to find. Yet, you can still find larger frozen turkeys if you look hard enough.

 Finding frozen turkey breasts is more challenging. I was grocery shopping Saturday when my wife asked me to price turkey breasts. I asked the meat manager where they were, he showed me the end cap and said, “This is all I have. This is all they sent. When they’re gone, they’re gone, so you better buy today.”

 I did.

 Prices are higher in 2021 primarily because of supply chain issues. According to Jennifer Blackhurst, a University of Iowa professor of business analytics, disruptions are occurring across the supply chain from labor shortages at farms, meatpacking plants, warehouses, and ports to shortages of plastics, aluminums, and other packing materials.

 Can we still have Thanksgiving Day without a turkey? That’s like asking, Is Thanksgiving still Thanksgiving if we didn’t have the annual Macy’s parade or football games to watch?

 Turkey or not, Thanksgiving presents an opportunity to pause, reflect, and count our blessings. However, Thanksgiving should be more than a day on the calendar. Giving thanks should be an everyday lifestyle.

 Let’s remind ourselves not to make the day so full, we leave out the gratitude. And let’s remember Who gives our blessings.

 James 1:17 reads, “Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes from above. These gifts come down from the Father . . .” Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

 And let’s remember we’re commanded to give thanks. Ephesians 4:20 reads, “Always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 Having a thankful attitude and lifestyle helps us keep a positive outlook. We would probably worry less if we praised more and kept our focus on being grateful for what we have rather than on what we don’t have.

Frank Clarke said, “If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get.” Afterall, your life is someone else’s envy.

Therefore, I choose thanksgiving over complaining and appreciation for what I have over bemoaning what I don’t have. What about you?

As I count my blessings, this year I’m thankful for . . .

Another year of life, a true gift.

My Heavenly Father, who gives me more than I deserve.

My salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. “For by grace are we saved through faith . . .”

My wife and family, including a brand-new grandson, Everett Andrew Bowen.

The innocence of a child, which sometimes brings humorous moments. (Like Sunday, when one of our children’s teachers was telling about Jacob wrestling with the Man or angel and God changing Jacob’s name (Genesis 32:24-32). Our teacher Phyllis asked, “Do you know what God changed it to?” The child answered, “Jake from State Farm?”)

My wonderful Mom, still going strong at 94.

Having my brothers and Mom together for a few days, a very rare occurrence.

My dedicated in-laws and the special trip we took earlier this year.

Another beach week of family togetherness.

Getting to baptize my oldest granddaughter in February.

The season the Braves enjoyed and the season my Bulldogs are having.

Nearly completing twelve months of maintenance treatments.

The privilege of preaching God’s Word week in and week out to a very responsive congregation.

For 22 years of serving God in this special church family.

Getting to run the Peachtree Road Race, though Covid-style.

Climbing Fort Mountain with my oldest daughter.

Still writing this column, readers who read it and editors who run it.

The sights, sounds, and message of Christmas, which still stir my heart.

For peanut M&Ms, Tootsie Rolls, and devils food’s cake.

As Seneca stated, “Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.”

David L. Chancey is pastor at McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, Georgia. Reach him at  davidlchancey@gmail.com.