Gabrielle Giffords, and a few words about next Thursday

I was over at today with a post about Gabrielle Giffords and the purpose of life.  You’ll laugh, you’ll cry.  Head on over there and read it, comment at will.  I’ll wait.

Back so soon?  All righty then, I have a few thoughts on Christmas:

It’s thirty-eight days away.  Before then, there’s another national holiday we’ll call, hmmm…let’s see…how ‘bout THANKSGIVING.  Thanksgiving is seven days away and I feel strongly that we should all put the damn breaks on that other holiday – turn off the carols, hide the red and green, delay the making of lists and checking them twice – until we have given great thanks for all we can and gorged ourselves on all things pumpkin, with a little turkey and mashed potatoes on the side.

Trust me, there’s no bah humbug in my heart.  I love the holiday season as much as the next person.  I just also happen to love Thanksgiving and every year, I protest that it isn’t given its due.

It’s the perfect holiday.  There’s no gift giving to be anxious about, no hundreds or thousands of dollars to spend on presents (which is fun if you have it, and stressful if you don’t), no mistletoe to find yourself under with the wrong person, no hideous Santa sweaters, no dreadful Christmas letters to read, no obligatory parties – just one on the fourth Thursday of November every year.  It’s inclusive and non-religious, and the opportunity for conspicuous consumption is limited to a free-range turkey prepared by a hired chef.  Charles Shulz even knew that Charlie Brown could sit down for popcorn and toast with Peppermint Patty before he rescued a sad little tree.  Before you turn on Vince Guaraldi’s classic “Linus and Lucy” ditty, listen to his Thanksgiving theme while watching the show yourself.  (It airs Tuesday on ABC, and then again on Thanksgiving evening.  Check your local listings.)

Shall I go on?  Sure, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade ends with Santa, but not before those fantastic floats.  We can usually get a glimpse of fall colors in Central Park, because Thanksgiving is in autumn and that other holiday is not.  There’s football – Dallas and Detroit – and usually, a home that smells cozier and more delicious than any other day of the year.  Need a recipe?  I’ve got ‘em all: garlic mashed potatoes, yams with marshmallows, fancy breads, a green bean casserole, and sweet Sister Mary Ignatius, DO NOT cook your turkey before brining it first.

There’s a chance of rain here in Los Angeles next Thursday, so make a fire, relax, and listen to George Winston’s “Thanksgiving”, all the while knowing that those December holidays will come soon enough, but not just yet.

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  1. Bill B. says

    I’m with you, JoAnn. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I’ve always felt that it was the purest holiday, if there can be such a thing, because the only demand Thanksgiving makes on us–on all of us–is to share good food and good conversation with the people we love. We like it so much at our house that we have 2 Thanksgivings each year–the first on Thursday and then we invite people over to feast again on Friday. After all, Thanksgiving leftovers are the best.

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