Thanksgiving is a day that is spent sitting around, watching TV, drinking and gorging oneself to the point of exhaustion. In other words, it is the perfect holiday.
Of course, you can’t just roll out of bed and expect to conquer a day like Thanksgiving. It requires intense preparation. Don’t worry, it’s not about doing one-armed push-ups or sprinting on the beach, or any other feats of strength typically associated with a training montage. For Thanksgiving, there is an inverse training regimen. For instance, you must seize the day by sleeping in. Also, if you were unfortunate enough to have had to work on Thanksgiving Eve, as I was, it’s good to start the morning with a soak in the hot tub to alleviate the “I hate my job” stress residue before starting the day.
This was exactly how my Thanksgiving began. Next, I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast while perusing the ads in the paper. As I mentioned before, I had to work the previous day… so I decided to make the most of my time at the office. Not by actually working, of course, but by spending the day preparing my Christmas list.
Granted, my Christmas list has been a work in progress since July. With the Christmas shopping season kicking off in 24 hours, the Thanksgiving Day ads provided an opportunity to make any last-minute, final touches to my Christmas list before distribution. After all, this isn’t like a tax return… this is the kind of document that warrants careful scrutiny. For instance, what if I failed to specify that I want an additional wirelesscontroller for my Xbox 360? Think about the letdown if I were to unwrap my gifts to find a wired controller. I might have to hang myself with it.
Of course, it’s hard to work on something this important with the distraction of a parade going on in my living room. I’m going on the record here: I don’t see any entertainment value in watching a parade on TV. There isn’t a single aspect that holds my interest for even a second. A giant, inflatable Garfield balloon? A marching band dressed like nutcrackers? And it’s all hosted by Al Roker and Katie Couric? They say that Thanksgiving is a day to remember what we are truly thankful for. In this instance, I’m thankful to have a remote control and 65 other channels.
Unfortunately, I was being summoned to the kitchen. The turkey needed to be cleaned (de-entrailed) before going in the oven. After completing the task, I wanted to throw the entrails and neck into the front yard, figuring the coyotes or Gypsies I see in our neighborhood deserve to have a nice Thanksgiving meal as well. As expected, my wife refused my charitable idea. She simply doesn’t understand the meaning of the holidays.
She called me into the kitchen a few more times throughout the day, whenever the turkey needed to be basted or inspected. As the day wore on, I’d stumble into the kitchen a little drunker than the time before. And each time, my wife was increasingly worried that it would be this time that I’d drop the turkey on the floor or find some other way to ruin the meal. She knew she was tempting fate. I was handling the bird way too much. Strictly by the law of averages, eventually, I’d lose my wedding ring or a Band-Aid in the carcass. It got to the point that she wouldn’t even let me open the can of cranberry sauce, which is typically my lone contribution to the meal.
It was finally mealtime. It was my wife’s first ever attempt at cooking an entire Thanksgiving meal, and she did a fantastic job. Everything turned out great, even the broccoli casserole, which I had my doubts about.
The evening concluded with the flick of a switch. My Christmas lights were on. Of course, they’ve been up on my house for three weeks, but I wasn’t officially allowed to turn them on until after dinner and dessert. And that switch not only signaled the beginning of the Christmas season, but also, and perhaps more importantly, the issuance of a challenge to my neighbors to come up with a more garish way to demonstrate their holiday spirit. Game on.