joy of joys! Thanksgiving is my Favorite holiday! ( I love Christmas time, but for happiest actual holiDAY, i must say that Thanksgiving is my favorite)
you begin with the watching of the parade. the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade of course.
you must be sure to wake up early, just in case it starts at 6:00 A.M. this year. when it doesn't (because, who are we kidding, it never starts that early) you get to flip leisurely through the thanksgiving specials, and the news channels which are all full of "Turky 911" tips.
the parade is a wondrous sight to behold. Big bird is taller than any of the sky scrapers, and famous singers are reduced to dressing up as candy canes and belting out "have a holly jolly Christmas. what a rush.
After Santa comes down the street ("because after that it's just guys cleaning up horse poop, and THAT doesn't throw ME at ALL" -miracle on 34th street) comes the bowling.
the "Turkey bowl" is a very competitive tradition with my dad's side of the family, and once you turn twelve, you're out of luck mister, because not more bumper rails! aunts, uncles, cousins, and parents all scrunch up their nose, wave their arms to the left and concentrate hard on their ball as they will it a li-i-i-ittle more to the other side. the sheer sight of their face is worth showing up in your jammies.
next comes the preparation....no no, the ART of cooking dinner. the aroma of juicy turkey marinating happily in the kitchen, the sound of potatoes plopping into boiling water, and the occasional sneaking of pie crust is the picture-perfect-we're-a-happy-family kind of moment that everyone sees on TV.
when the relatives arrive, there are babies to be held, games to be played, and most importantly, food to be eaten.
if you've stayed with me this far, i'm going to cut you a break, and stop talking about my Thanksgiving traditions (even though it IS my favorite holiday, and i think i deserve a little indulgence) and skip to the real reason behind Thanksgiving.
Everyone talks about the pilgrims and how they were thankful for their food and habbledee-whoo-be-whatty. well, i would just like to take a moment of gratitude.
Even though i presume that the pilgrim story is largely inaccurate, i think that for whatever truth it holds, they are a great symbol for us.
i recently returned home from a humanitarian trip to the Dominican republic with the fam. in honor of thanksgiving, i want to share some things that i didn't even realize were such a blessing until i saw the contrary.
1. Clean water (as much as i want, and it comes right to my house!)
2. enough food to eat
3. the opportunity to go to school (all of you who skip class, these kids would do ANYTHING for an education.)
4. people who understand what I'm saying. (imagine being an immigrant and not having ANYONE understand your language)
5. smiling (the universal language)
6. air conditioning. (trust me.)
7. that people have to take a test before they can legally drive (this is not the case in the D.R.)
8. toilets that can flush toilet paper
10. that i don't have to worry about wild dogs every time i leave the house
11. the freedom to say whatever i want
12. a government that isn't corrupt (anyone who disagrees with me on this one, go to the D.R.
and THEN tell me that we have a bad government)
13. that i know how to read.
15. a better security system than bars on my window.
16. that it isn't socially acceptable in the U.S. for a married man to have a couple girlfriends
17. rice for breakfast
18. nice smelling laundry detergent. (or laundry detergent at all for that matter)
19. a toothbrush
20. people who are kind no matter what their circumstances.
so buenos nuches mis amigos, and remember to be thankful for all the little things from washable marker to opposable thumbs.
oh there's that soap box i was looking for!
i guess when it comes to turkey day, i'm a bit of a ham.