The Rules of Thanksgiving
Posted: Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012
Photo by: Nathan Abplanalp Photography
Brittany Sajbel is an associate attorney in Concord. Her March wedding planning has hit quite a few bumps in the road, but she remains positive and sane with the help of her amazing fiance, Neil Love, and their two furbabies, Gemma Bean and Kitty Caroline. Contact Brittany here.
Going into this week, I knew that I didnt want to write about exercise. I ran two 5Ks in a week and have logged a total of 10 miles this week, but thats the extent of that topic. I didnt want to write about what I ate or drank, despite the pride I felt waking up the morning after a friends birthday party and realizing I had not strayed from Atkins in a drunken stupor. I certainly didnt want to write about wedding planning this week, because nothing has happened except for leaking out payments like a sieve.I told myself I was not going to write a trite Thanksgiving blog until I realized my entry would actually fall on the big day, well after most of the other competitors had mapped out their game plans for your reading pleasure. Crumbs! I thought, I cant be the Thanksgiving Scrooge! In an attempt to deviate from your typical Thanksgiving Day blog and inspired by the incredibly sassy octogenarian Helen Philpot, I have decided to make a list of stuff that doesnt fly with me on Turkey Day. While I am not going to use the same colorful language that Helen likes to use, I hope my list captures the essence of what this holiday boils down to for me. First: Thanksgiving requires certain things: meat, starch, green vegetables, dessert. I dont care what your version of each is, what order you eat them in, or where you get them fromgrandma, Cracker Barrel, HungryMan. What is the most American holiday? Fourth of July? Wrong. We were American way before that, whether your ancestors were native Americans or came in on a boat. Thanksgiving is a holiday to celebrate when it started to get real, so dont try showing up with stuff like a frozen pizza, tofu, or a vegetable tray.Second: No one gets to discuss politics on Thanksgiving. Its at the bottom of the list of things that Im thankful for this year. Politics has yet again severed the unity of the nation and has caused people to be bitter at a time when we need to pull together more than ever. If you want to discuss politics, youve had over two weeks to be a sore loser or an arrogant bore. I get it, either youre depressed or elated over the election: No one cares anymore; there is no longer a battle to be fought with your opinions. Its over and our representatives have been chosen most likely by someone who will be joining you at the dining room table. Lets raise our glasses to health and family instead of pulling a Burr and trying to impale someone with the butter knife.Third: Thanksgiving doesnt end with the meal, it is a day-long celebration. Whether you spend the time before the meal watching football or baking, Thanksgiving is about togetherness. At our house, the time after the meal is reserved for family game night. Apples to Apples, Scattergories, Catch Phrase, penny poker: whatever we can play until someone gets mad and slams a door. This is a time of heavy drinking and merriment, and friends are invited. Given that the normal Thanksgiving at our house involves about eight people plus whatever strays we can find at college, in the neighborhood, or from a relationship, Sajbel family game night tends to go from zero-to-sixty in two beers flat. Were not only okay with that, its expected.Fourth: Dont even think about going Black Friday shopping at any time that is not actually on Friday. Kudos to retailers for thinking up a way to bring in even more business3:00am on Friday wasnt a reasonable time for soccer moms who had prepared a full meal the night before. How about after dessert is served, at 10:00pm on Thursday night? Shame on companies making their employees come in during those hours. Even more angering is the number of people that will now be out on the roads at night that shouldnt be, whether from exhaustion or intoxication. I dont think getting stocking stuffers for half-off is worth the time away from family or the risks of being trampled in a stampede to the last Tickle-Me-Elmo (too soon?).Fifth: Some of the other ladies in the competition are stressed out about the dietary implications of Thanksgiving. Heres the deal: when the Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving, they were thankful for survival, they were thankful they didnt have cholera, they were thankful they hadnt been scalped. How did they celebrate? By gorging themselves (allegedly) on the bountiful harvest. I dont know about you, but Im awfully thankful for a lot of things this year, including a mother who makes a mean Thanksgiving meal and a father who can provide it. There is no way that I can eat back on more than two pounds in one meal, so lets do this.Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving
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