Our Views: Put thanks, family before football, shopping

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving is a bad time to be a turkey. On Thursday, Americans will gobble an estimated 45 million gobblers.

Thursday is a day, of course, to give thanks. Gaze past the meat platter, dressing and cranberries and thank your parents for all they've done for you. Thank Aunt Ethel or Uncle Erv for being a good mentor. Call and thank a grandparent or some other loved one for being an important part of your life despite the miles between you. If a teacher was a great influence on you, put your appreciation into words this holiday season.

Janesville residents have many reasons to give thanks. We live in a community with good parks, quality schools and dedicated public safety workers. Other amenities include Hedberg Public Library, Rotary Botanical Gardens and lots of local shopping options.

Charities are helping the needy, and many residents are opening their hearts, minds and wallets. Bell ringers are tending red kettles for the Salvation Army, which on Thanksgiving will again serve a meal open to all from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 514 Sutherland Ave. Last Saturday, an army of volunteers helped ECHO pack and distribute 1,000 Thanksgiving baskets to feed more than 2,500 low-income people.

Officials are toiling behind the scenes to bring more jobs to Janesville and Rock County. One project got a green light Monday when the Janesville City Council wisely approved an $877,000 incentive package for United Alloy, provided the company adds at least 40 jobs by 2017. That comes on the heels of incentives for Seneca Foods and GOEX expansions.

Here's the thing about this Thanksgiving, however. Do not let that Packers-Lions game, starting at 11:30 a.m., ruin the festivities. Sure, the Packers have chewed up the Lions in their last three Thanksgiving matchups and haven't lost to the host team on this holiday in a decade. Enjoy the feast of food, but if you're a Packer fan, don't let another disappointment in a season stuffed with them leave you feeling famished and glum by midafternoon.

And speaking of shopping, as mentioned earlier, many stores will be open on Thanksgiving, trying to lure customers with early Christmas deals. If enough of your relatives want to shop together to make it a festive outing, go ahead. Just don't break up the unity back home to head out.

Football and shopping can be fun, but don't let these take priority over giving thanks for all your blessings.

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