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THE scolds remind us each year that the thanks-giving has been plucked from America’s favorite Thursday.

Some of us still give vocal thanks to God, to the bounteous Earth, to the farmer’s hard work in bringing in the harvest and to each other’s hard work in paying for it. Say these things at the table if it is your tradition. If not, give them a thought.

If you have a relative, neighbor or friend who will be alone, invite him or her to your table, or if that would be disagreeable, send some turkey, stuffing and gravy on a plate. Even if he or she eats alone, on this day your food will taste better that his or her food.

Do praise the cook. This is always a good move at dinner, and is crucial on this day. Praise the cook more than once; your first effort may be drowned out. If there are a few lumps in the gravy, overlook them.

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This is the quintessential American holiday, encompassing nature, family and work. You are in a bountiful land, especially regarding flightless birds. Last Sunday’s Seattle Times brought ads from five supermarket chains, each of them offering a way to buy a frozen turkey at less than a dollar a pound.

For those who don’t cook, there is no easier American holiday than this. You don’t have to buy presents and worry if they were right. You don’t have to buy fireworks and worry that they are the prohibited ones, or wish they were. You don’t have to buy bags of candy and worry if your generosity will run out before trick-or-treaters do.

All you have to do is eat. There is no calculation in it other than allocating your capacity: how much turkey, how much stuffing, how much pie.

Have a second helping. And praise the cook.

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