Schmaltzy? Sentimental? Historically inaccurate? I suppose so, but there is always a small germ, an ideal spark that can be cherished, no matter how fugitive and fleeting, that could hopefully lead us to better things. Family gatherings really more frazzling and emotionally charged than depicted? True, but there can be redeeming moments and happy memories to be grasped if we only keep our hearts and eyes open to possibilities. In other words, if we don't have the ideals to strive for and the hope to keep us going, we are only left with a bleak dry bone-pile to endlessly rake over. For some of us, this sort of Thanksgiving imagery, even though "debunked" and scorned, consigned to be the stuff of comedy routines, still serves as a kind of signpost or even blueprint, pointing to a more innocent time, less introspective and more straightforward. It's a celebration of the Fall of it all, the browns and yellows and reds, the feasting and games before winter locks everything down and the gathering of the greater family to count heads and be grateful we made it through so much. So while it may not be coldly factually, it is true, and an expression of a truth in our life that we should continually strive toward. If this is sentimental, what is sentiment but emotion; and people and cultures that cannot share in emotions are on the road to sociopathy. I still cherish an ideal vision of Thanksgiving, and for that, I am truly grateful that I am not dead yet.