Thanksgiving Traditions

One Thanksgiving, I was working at an institution where we hosted a banquet for all the staff and students. We played jazz and voyageur music.  We ate a lot of turkey.  We had door prizes and contests. We posted pictures of Fulton Sheen, Dorothy Day, Miguel Pro, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Bl. Marie of the Incarnation, Fr. Damien, John de Brebeuf, and many others. And then we all went outside to whack a pinata I had made in the shape of a piggy bank.

The stick had been christened "Bob Queequeg," a nice Herman Melville tribute.  I didn't realize that one can buy pinatas quite cheap at party stores.  Still, making this pinata was great fun.  I joined two punching bag balloons (one slightly less inflated), and covered them with five layers of glue/water/newspaper strips.  Then I popped the balloons, filled this guard-like shape with candy, harnessed it to some clothesline, and covered the whole thing with pink tissue paper.  The legs and snout are paper cups taped on and covered with pink tissue paper.  The ears are triangles of cardboard taped on and covered with pink tissue paper.  The curly tail was made with wrapping paper ribbon zipped across a scissors.  It was WAY TOO STURDY!  After each kid got two swipes, and it still hadn't busted, we called every staff, faculty, spouse, chaplain, cook, proctor, senior, and student to have a whack at it!  And finally the Dean had to cut it open with a pocket knife so I could toss the candy to the younger attendees.  Such a good time!  Here is the beloved chaplain taking a whack.



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