OPINION: Let’s be thankful all year


It’s the week of Thanksgiving in Boyne City, as I write this, and the festivities have clearly begun.


The Kiwanis Turkey Trot took off in eight-degree weather, and the Eagles held their annual donation-only dinner for dozens of our community members.

The holidays in Boyne have always meant a lot to me, because they truly allow members of our community to put their best foot forward.

The Boyne Area Community Christmas program, for example, operates off of donations, and provides food and holiday toys to children whose families are struggling.

Even more meaningful, students from the local schools help pack the boxes and have the chance to experience the feeling of helping local community members in need.

Personally, I’ve always seen the holiday season as a state of mind rather than a group of events.

As we wake up each day, we are tasked with a decision: “What kind of person will I be today?”

And, throughout this season, a whole bunch of people decide that they want to wear bright colors, give things to other people, and be nice to those around them.

But if it’s all a state of mind, why do we limit it to three months of the year?

Why can’t the cries of “We have to help! It’s Christmas!” be “We have to help, we’re human beings.”

Where is it written that we can only be exceptional people when we have a good excuse?

Here’s what I’m going to try this year, and I hope you’ll all join me.

Even though I’ll be taking down my artificial pine tree in January, I’m going to act like it’s still there.

I’ll pretend I didn’t pull the lights down and vacuum up the tinsel before the cat eats it. Let’s all make believe it’s still Christmastime after it ends. Let’s keep bringing boxes of food and toys to needy families, even if it’s July. We should continue to provide opportunities to help our community members get out of the house, even if it’s not Thanksgiving.

And yes, when we see something in the store and think, “My dad would love that,” perhaps we should stop worrying about whether there’s snow on the ground before we throw it in the basket.

All too often when we truly need holiday cheer, the holidays couldn’t possibly be further away, so let’s change it together.

On a side note, several years back, I ate Thanksgiving dinner at the Eagles Hall with a man named Larry Farrell.

It had been a rough year.

A drunk gentleman approached and said some things to me that weren’t kind, and Larry chased him away.

I found out that Larry died recently, and to my knowledge, there is no obituary.

He was known for wheeling around town with a power scooter that he hooked a mini-trailer to. In that trailer, of course, was a cooler full of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Some people liked him, others didn’t, but Boyne City will be different without him scooting his way, rain or shine, to the bar of his choice.
Rest in peace.

Wherever it is you’re going, I can only hope there’s a can of PBR and a glass of ice waiting for you.