Here we are. Another Thanksgiving has arrived. I know- it seems like it wasn’t that long ago that you took the Christmas tree down (please tell me you haven’t already put one up this year) and here we are again.
Many better writers will opine over the next couple of days that Americans today don’t even know what giving thanks is all about. They’ll tell you that in society today we’re selfish. Those people are jerks. I hope you didn’t invite any to your festivities.
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You have plenty of other sources to remind you that there are others far worse off than whatever problem occupies your thoughts at 3 AM. So I’m not going to do that here. Instead, pull a folding chair up to the ‘ol card table/kids table and let JonMcP tell you what he thinks about Thanksgiving. I’ll warn you that I may be a little jaded from standing in line at the ham store in crowds so thick that the sheriff was actually there to direct folks.
You see, for some reason (and it’s not that I don’t live a thankful life) I just don’t care much for this holiday. My absolute most vivid memory involving Thanksgiving is actually my first memory of the holiday. I remember having the flu as a child, lying on my parent’s 70’s style sofa in my parent’s 70’s style living room, throwing up into a bowl while the stupid parade was on. Every single commercial involved some gravy, sweet and sour cranberry sauce, or corn product, and every single one made me hurl.
Fortunately I can’t honestly say that Thanksgiving has gone downhill from there. To my recollection I’ve not actually thrown up on the fourth Thursday in November since, so I guess that’s a plus. Still…I’m not a big eater- I don’t really understand when people joke about wearing sweatpants on Thanksgiving. Gluttony isn’t really all that funny to me.
Thanksgiving Day programming on TV is generally pretty bad. First there’s the parade to watch. Now, I don’t want to spoil this year’s parade, but it involves A LOT of talking by morning news personalities filling time, even more people marching around, a couple of balloon floats of trademarked characters, talent-less singers you can’t possibly care about (the Jonas Brothers, Julie Roberts, and a whole host of others) lip-synching, and a musical review by some Broadway drama troop. This excitement will be interrupted every 5 minutes or so for a commercial about what a great idea it is to wake up the following morning at 3AM to save 40% on a lint shaver. After that football comes on, so you should probably just turn off the TV then.
I could say that I enjoy the celebration of family. Because I do. But there are plenty of other times during the year that we celebrate with family (one coming in exactly one month- and at that one I get presents), so I don’t feel that this one stands out for me.
Anyway. Things are what you make of them. And this year I plan a peaceful time hanging out with my wife’s family, catching up on some reading, working some crosswords, and that’s about it. I look forward to it, but that's really no different than any other visit.
Hopefully this holiday will be whatever you need it to be for you. Hopefully you are thankful for the family, friends, and myriad material possessions you own every day and this day is just another reminder of how blessed you are. Hopefully you’ll find some great bargains on Friday morning. Hopefully you won’t throw up.