Tag Archives: thanksgiving

I got thanks coming out the wazoo

Hey, have I mentioned how much I love Thanksgiving? Because I do. Oh, so much. And not just because it’s a holiday where it’s acceptable to drink all day.

This year in particular I’m looking forward to because it’s the first Thanksgiving where our whole family is complete. Both kids are now officially out of my uterus and I plan on having no other occupants in said uterus unless my husband wants brutally whacked with a frying pan. So, I am just filled to the brim with the Thanksgiving spirit (and here soon the Thanksgiving spirits).

Which is why I wanted to make a list of all the things I am thankful for this year because there are just so many. For instance…

Not being pregnant like I was last year when I almost puked on three-fourths of my husband’s lovely extended family.

Not being pregnant like I was last year so I can drink wine before I’m required to stick my hand up a strange turkey’s arse.

Not being pregnant like I was last year so I can eat my famous cheeseball again, soaking up all the delicious possible listeria guilt-free.

Not being pregnant like I was last year because, surprise!, I hate being pregnant.

And in non-non-pregnant things to be thankful for:

Joe Biden memes, which I suspect might be the only thing holding the country together at this point.

Not leaving my house on Black Friday but snarkily tweeting about it from the comfort of my couch.

Both my kids are beautiful and healthy and think Momma is just the greatest. Even when she’s having a bad day and isn’t.

Finding friends who like and accept me regardless of my cliché love of pumpkin spice.

That panty hose are no longer a thing.

I know I say this every year, but toilet paper, because, I mean, think of the alternative.

Being an adult and as such having the freedom to have ice cream for breakfast! And a wheel of cheese at lunch! And a beer whenever I want! As long as I do all those things while hiding in the bathroom from the rest of the family!

That moment amidst the chaos when you’re handing your small children back and forth with your significant other because one needs fed and the other needs a diaper change or whatever the reason, and your hands briefly touch while exchanging the kids and you feel so connected, so bonded to them. And you become more than just a team. You become a tribe. And the love is so strong in that brief moment that you almost can’t stand it.

Basil ice cream (it’s a thing and it’s amazing).

That when I look at my children, I’m still blown away by the fact they are mine and I get to keep them.

Accidentally stumbling upon a recipe for Deep Fried Stuffing Balls while looking up Thanksgiving ideas and feeling a swell of pride at being an American in a year where being an American was extremely difficult.

My family is finally at the point financially that we can afford to get two toppings on our pizza. Three, if it’s a special occasion.

There is going to be a revival of “Gilmore Girls” on Netflix (and more broadly, that we live in a time where the end of a beloved TV show isn’t necessarily the end).

Tiny, chubby baby feet that you have to use all of your willpower not to bite because they are the most adorable thing you’ve ever seen and for some reason humans always want to bite really adorable things.

My stupid dog. God, I love that stupid dog.

Our son isn’t even close to being potty trained yet but at least he is to the point where he can tell us loudly in public that he is “GOING POTTY RIGHT NOW, MOMMA! YAY!”

Having the power in the palm of my hand to reach out to other moms, other writers, other rabid fans of the TV show “Supernatural.” All of those things can be extremely isolating and I can guarantee I’m not the only one who has found a haven online to help get me through the bad days. For all our handwringing about how technology is turning us into a bunch of zombies, at least we are bunch of zombies with online friends who understand what we are going through.

Strangers who randomly tell you to have a Happy Thanksgiving.

And on that note, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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Another annoying post defending Thanksgiving

Guys, I love analogies. I love analogies like how bad writers love a good cheap gimmick. Which is why I want to begin this particular column about my love of Thanksgiving with the following cheap gimmicky analogy:

Congratulations, everyone. We have all turned Thanksgiving into the classic middle child of the major holidays.

See, at one time Thanksgiving was a pretty big deal in America. But now, jammed in-between the ever-growing juggernauts of Halloween and Christmas, it always gets overlooked. And sure, just like so many other middle children, it’s maybe not as fun as Halloween or as exciting as Christmas, but it’s still a good, solid holiday.

Now, Halloween obviously plays the role of the oldest child, not so much for any particular trait per se, but because it comes first in the calendar year and I really need this analogy to work. Although, if I really stretch it, Halloween could be like your high-achieving cheerleader daughter who suddenly goes through a goth phase and dyes her hair purple and only wears black and starts getting C’s because she’s focused on writing her death poetry. And also she starts getting drunk, like really drunk, while wearing sexy Harry Potter uniforms.

And Christmas is clearly the beloved youngest child, who can do no wrong and no one ever tells it no, which is why it has turned into a spoiled brat that sucks up all of Mommy and Daddy’s time and money.

Poor Thanksgiving. The quiet peacemaker. It’s just trying to get the whole family together at the table for nothing other than good food and good, but strained, conversation that is desperately trying to avoid bringing up politics. Would you like more mashed potatoes, it quietly but excitedly asks. Or maybe some of the turkey that took 18 hours to prep and cook? Or any of these other eleven side dishes?

Except, no one hears it. Because there’s Christmas, screaming in its highchair for more attention and throwing poinsettias at everyone, while Halloween mopes and snacks on the giant bowl of leftover candy that is mostly just yellow Starbursts and generic Tootsie Rolls at this point. Thanksgiving just wanted one day that is focused on them but no, because not only is Christmas making a scene but Christmas also had to bring over its rowdy, juvenile delinquent friend, Black Friday. And now everything is chaos and everyone is at the store because Black Friday conned them into thinking that getting into fistfights over cheap flats screens and environmentally irresponsible Keurigs was a great idea.

And so poor Thanksgiving just sits there alone at the table, sullenly eating a turkey leg and drinking wine straight from the bottle (which they will replace because Thanksgiving is a polite, responsible holiday…as long as no one brings up politics).

Well, I, for one, refuse to let Thanksgiving drink that wine alone. One, because I have never turned down a glass of wine in my life. And two, this holiday is worthy of our love and attention.

I love Thanksgiving. LOVE it. I loved it as a kid when the women of my family would shoo me out of the kitchen while they mysteriously made magic happen. And I love it now as an adult when I’m the one in the kitchen mysteriously making moderate-to-severe knife cuts and a whole symphony of curse words happen (and somehow, magically, edible food).

Everyone gets all dressed up but goes absolutely nowhere, just looking hella fancy while hanging out in the kitchen. There’s no stress to look skinny in a sexist costume or pressure to find the perfect gift for a husband who thinks “whatever, you know what I like” is an acceptable answer to the question “what do you want for Christmas this year?”

The only goal for the whole freaking day is just to devour food that has been bathed in almost illegal amounts of butter. To drink wine and watch a parade and talk about the weather with your uncle for an uncomfortable 12 minutes because it’s a topic least likely to bring up politics.

There’s no pressure to have a good time, even, or to make it a magical day for children. It just is what it is. The only thing you’re required to do is give a list of things you’re thankful for and even then you can lie because, I mean, who’s going to know?

So, guys, I think we all should apologize to Thanksgiving for our benign neglect of it. It truly deserves better. A prominent place on the fridge to hang its construction paper turkey hand art.

Christmas will just have to learn some patience. *ducks as another poinsettia is thrown at her head*

Being thankful for the crappy stuff

Every year around this time, I like to make a list of all the things I’m thankful for. One, because I think it’s an important tradition of the Thanksgiving holiday (in fact, I’d say it’s almost as important as the tradition of drinking wine all day while you cook).

thanksgiving_cook

And two, it’s the easiest column I write all year. The list just grows and grows the older I get. Loving husband, wonderful child, loyal dog composed of 95 percent fur, pizza that now comes with a hotdog-filled crust. I could go on and on.

But the thing is, it’s easy to be thankful for all the good things in your life. No one struggles to be thankful for having a roof over their head and enough money in their account to buy at least five pizzas with hotdog-filled crusts. So, this year, I’ve decided I’m going to be thankful for all the crappy things in my life. All the things that usually drive me frothing-at-the-mouth super nutjob crazy. Because if you can find a way to be grateful for sweeping up after a dog that sheds enough hair to fill the Atlantic Ocean on a daily basis, you have found the path to true happiness (or at least a path that doesn’t require wine for breakfast just to make it through the day).

So, for example, I am thankful for traffic jams, which give me a regular reminder that the zombie apocalypse is not yet upon us. Added bonus: When the zombie apocalypse does inevitably come, all our commute times will be cut in half. So, hey, a win-win.

I’m also beyond thankful that my toddler son’s lungs are strong and in working order, even when he demonstrates this by screaming directly into my face because his cracker broke in half. Because he broke it in half.

thanksgiving_cracker

I’m also thankful that over the years I have amassed such a wide and diverse group of friends that when I scroll through Facebook, I get a wide and diverse viewpoint of how the world will end. Which will be, in no particular order, global warming, terrorists, crazy gun nuts, crazy anti-gun nuts, disposable Starbucks cups, orphan refugees, evil CEOs, evil poor people, robots, Millennials, the Koch brothers, the Clintons, gluten, aliens, that damn blue dress (it’s BLUE), women, minorities, gays, straight white men and robot aliens.

I’m thankful for cold weather, and in particular this icy blast of wind currently assaulting my face, because it reminds me I’m alive and if all else fails I can just lay down and hope to freeze to death because at least when you freeze to death, you feel warmth for a brief second before you shuffle off this mortal coil.

I’m thankful for the Kardashians for reminding me that I’m not the worst person on the planet.

I’m thankful for my student loan debt because…hmm…let me come back to this one.

I’m thankful my dog feels the need to bark at an unnaturally loud volume at anything that moves, smells weird, makes sound, doesn’t move, doesn’t make a sound but might be thinking of making a sound, etc. Because even though there is less than a 0.01 percent chance I will be murdered by the plastic bag floating down our street, if I ever am, he will finally be vindicated after all these years.

thanksgiving_dog

I’m thankful for people who are on a new diet and have to tell me about it in detail even though I didn’t ask (making sure to include everything that is wrong with what I’m eating) because somehow, it makes the deep-fried cupcake I eat right in front of their face taste even sweeter.

I’m thankful for my student loan debt because…education is…hmm…I know there’s a reason. Let me think it over some more.

I’m thankful I’m occasionally required to wear real pants because it makes me appreciate the magic of the humble elastic waistband all the more.

I’m thankful my son likes to wake up at 5:30 a.m. because there is something so satisfying about standing on your porch as dawn breaks and flipping off the rising sun.

I’m so, so, so thankful for extreme couponers at the grocery store because it gives me plenty of time to try to work out the details of how to get away with the perfect murder.

And lastly, I’m thankful for my student loan debt because there is a chance, thanks to my diet of deep-fried cupcakes and hotdog-stuffed pizzas, that I’ll die before the bastards are paid off.

 

If my blog were a sitcom, this would be the Thanksgiving episode

OPENING SCENE: Camera zooms in to clock beside Aprill’s bed. Time reads 4:43 a.m. Sound of baby crying.

APRILL (lying in bed, eyes still closed): “Nope. No way. (Voice gradually getting louder) You wish I loved you enough to wake up this early on a holiday! Go back to sleep, Riker!”

Crying continues.

APRILL (eyes still closed, kicking her husband, Ryan, with her leg): “I’ll give you $50,000 if you go get him right now.”

RYAN (raises head from pillow, his bedhead making him look like a deranged muppet): “Please. I’m still waiting for the $100,000 you promised me when I took the dog out during a blizzard last year. And the $4 million you promised me when I gave you my last mozzarella stick Tuesday.”

Cue laugh track.

Crying gets louder.

APRILL (slowly and dramatically rolling off bed, eyes still closed): “Ugh. He’s so dramatic. I bet when I go in there, he’s not even missing a limb.”

Cue giggle track since the joke is so-so at best.

Camera fades to black and reopens on Riker’s nursery. Aprill is getting ready to change Riker’s diaper.

APRILL: “Well, happy first Thanksgiving, kiddo. (Opens diaper) WHOA! How did all that even fit inside your tiny body? I’m not even mad. I’m impressed. (Note: Check with legal if we can use this and not get sued by Will Ferrell) Guess you’re thankful for having the bowel movements of a Budweiser Clydesdale, huh?”

Aprill carries Riker into the kitchen, which is pristine and huge and has a funky vintage fridge just like all sitcom kitchens, even if the people in the sitcom are poor and live in a ridiculously expensive city.

APRILL: “Well, since we’re up, we might as well get a jump on Thanksgiving dinner.”

Aprill opens funky vintage fridge, which is full of colorful fruits and vegetables and POM drinks, and not leftover Chinese food and Kraft singles and a carrot that committed suicide in 2011.

APRILL: “Shit!” (if this airs on late-night cable) “Darn it!” (if this airs on network TV) “Babe! I forgot to defrost the turkey!”

Stumbling noises heard off-camera. Ryan enters the kitchen, bedhead now making him look like the love child of Nick Nolte and Justin Bieber.

RYAN: “Huh. Well, that sounds like a pretty big problem for Future Ryan to deal with. But right now, Current Ryan is going back to bed.”

Two hours later…

Ryan wakes up to a loud noise. He walks into the kitchen.

RYAN: “Uh…whatcha doin’?”

APRILL: “Blow-drying the turkey, obviously. Added bonus, I occasionally blow it directly in Riker’s face and it makes him giggle. And his hair is now super shiny.”

RYAN: “Aw…that’s my delicate little flower.”

Cue laugh track.

APRILL: “By the way, how long does a turkey take to cook?”

RYAN: “I don’t know. I have to Google it every year. Why don’t you know? You’ve made the turkey before.”

APRILL: “And how did that work out?”

RYAN: “Yeah, but after the food poisoning symptoms passed, remember how happy you were you lost five pounds?”

APRILL: “I finally fit in my skinny sweatpants.”

Cue pity laugh track.

Four hours later…

Aprill, Ryan, Riker and the dog are all on the back porch as smoke billows out of the windows of their house. Sirens can be heard in the background.

APRILL: “Who knew potatoes could explode like that?”

RYAN: “Two people who have a small infant they are in charge of keeping alive probably should.”

APRILL: “This day is a disaster. Do we have any wine?”

RYAN: “No. But we have some cooking sherry that’s probably tainted considering I think I bought it back in the 90s. That ought to do the trick.”

APRILL: “I’ll get the sherry, you call China Garden.”

RYAN: “I think that makes four years in a row. Pretty sure it’s now officially a Thanksgiving tradition.”

APRILL: “It’s just not the holidays without crab rangoon and the smell of burning arm hair.”

Ryan kisses Aprill.

Cue “Ooooooo” kissy-face track.

RYAN: “Insert some cheesy line here.”

Cue applause track.

Fade to credits.

 

How I feel when people start celebrating Christmas too early

earlyxmas1 earlyxmas2 earlyxmas3 earlyxmas4 earlyxmas5 earlyxmas6 earlyxmas7

Happy HalloChristGiving, Charlie Brown!

Hey, you know what the world needs more of? (Warning! Warning! Sarcasm bomb about to detonate!) People complaining about how Christmas comes earlier and earlier every year. We just don’t see enough of that, you know? And I bet if we did complain more, it would totally change things.

Just like how complaining about politics and cold weather and people who think Instagram was created solely so they could share what they’re eating for lunch (Blackened salmon with roasted asparagus? Well, aren’t you fancy!) makes all those things better.

(I sincerely apologize to anyone who got hit with sarcasm shrapnel. Unless your Instagram account is just filled with food. Then you deserved it).

Yes, people complaining about how Christmas has completely obliterated Thanksgiving and is quickly encroaching on Halloween’s thunder is about as cliché now as people complaining how ironic it is we go out and shiv little old ladies to get 40 percent off TV’s and unnecessary shaving kits the day after a holiday centered around giving thanks for what we already have.

But as futile as I think it is to bitch about Christmas being three months long now, I must admit I side with the complainers. Because even though you’ll never convince Sharon, your co-worker who starts wearing light-up Happy Holiday sweaters in October, that she needs to stop, your silence means you approve. And you don’t approve. Because Sharon is ridiculous and owns a cat named Gingerbread and has a weird, creepy crush on Santa.

I too don’t want to have to sift through a bunch of candy canes before I find the Halloween candy at the grocery store in October; or a bunch of eggnog before I find my gourd-based beers at the liquor store in September.

And I sure as hell don’t want to see Christmas commercials when I’m having my annual psychotic breakdown in the kitchen on Thanksgiving.

But before you go thinking I’m all bah-humbug-y, Grinch-y, evil corporate guy in every Christmas special ever, let me throw this at ya.’ Christmas is actually my favorite holiday. Always has been. I love everything about it. The lights. The cooking (until the inevitable psychotic breakdown). The gift shopping. The wrapping. The decorating. The 37 emails back and forth with family about who got what on everyone’s list. The music. The claymation marathons on TV. The awkward reaction I get from salespeople when they say “Happy Holidays” and I reply with a cheerful “Merry Christmas” because they think I’m going to be that A-hole that gets mad that they said “Happy Holidays” when really I couldn’t care less because my body is composed of 82 percent hot toddy at that point.

And it’s because I love Christmas so much that I’m angry everyone is trying to artificially manufacture Christmas spirit prematurely. Because you know what happens when you try to artificially make something happen? It…well, let’s use an awkward metaphor to explain it…

It’s like getting all dressed up in your sexy lingerie, hair done perfectly and actual makeup on your face besides chapstick and anti-wrinkle cream, because you want to surprise your husband with some sexy, fun-time, naked, grown-up stuff. And so you carefully lay yourself on the bed in just the perfect position so that all your wobbly bits and fat pockets are hidden. And you’re just practically vibrating with excited anticipation for the night.

And then you wait.

And you wait.

And then wait some more.

And then he’s three hours late coming home from work and by the time he gets to the bedroom, you’ve already downed half a bottle of wine and eaten three-fourths of a pumpkin pie while wearing sweatpants over your teddy because all the anticipation, and thus the fun, has vanished.

That’s what you people are doing to Christmas.

If you build this holiday up too big by starting it way too early, the only place it can go is to an anti-climatic, sputtering dud. So that by Christmas Eve, you downright rage in a foam-at-the-mouth homicidal spree every time you hear “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer” because it is the 37th million time you’ve heard it and the human brain can tolerate only 34 million times (there have been studies, look it up).

So stop ruining Christmas. Be patient. Let’s make this season a reasonable, wonderful, exciting, month-long celebration. Instead of building it up starting July Fourth only to arrive at the end with an attitude of “that’s it?”

It’s what Charlie Brown would have wanted.

And that weird, freaky-looking Yeti in the Rudolph special.

 

 

Geez…Happy Lamesgiving

Is it just me or has everyone gone nuts for Thanksgiving this year? No, I’m not talking about getting a jumpstart on the traditional holiday season bender a vast majority of us go on this time of year. Hell, most of us started that in August.

I’m talking about the abundance of thanks people are publicly listing on social networking sites such as Facebook, which started as early as November 1st.

Every. Single. Day. Posting what they’re thankful for: Their children. Their health. The fact that every time they bitch on Facebook it’s only for First World Problems.

Last time I checked, Thanksgiving was only one day. For only one day did I have to be thankful for crap. Which was then followed the next day by beating up people in Aisle 10 of Wal-Mart in order to get the last Tickle Me Binder Full of Women or whatever stupid, popular toy some manufacturer didn’t make enough of for all of us in the world who have the time and luxury to camp outside a store for a week.

I mean, I wouldn’t care, but it’s bad enough Christmas starts in March now. Does Thanksgiving really need to be a whole month-long?

And honestly, who really cares what you’re thankful for?

The answer? No one. So knock it off and keep it at the Thanksgiving dinner table, where it belongs.

OK, OK, enough complaining. I digress. Let’s move onto the topic of this blog.

Here’s a list of everything I’m thankful for this year:

“Jersey Shore” is finally ending.

Season Two of HBO’s “Girls” begins in January.

My dog Buffy has yet to succeed with his plans to take over the world.

Speaking of the world, I’m also glad we got a heads up that it is ending this December, which means I don’t have to go out and buy Christmas gifts for anyone. Suckers.

Hats that make babies look like bears.

That Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Instagram, Blogger and WordPress didn’t exist when I was a teenager, thus documenting all my stupid ducky-wip pictures and lame, melodramatic “poetry” for all eternity on the Internet.

Toilet paper (look, I know I say that every year, but seriously, think about it…think about life without toilet paper…yeah…exactly).

That I didn’t kill myself quite literally about an hour ago when I noticed the gas on our stove top was on and had been on for about four hours ever since I cleaned it this morning and accidentally turned the dial on. And that I didn’t go with my first gut reaction, which was to light the stove so that it would use up all the excess gas (I swear, I have two college degrees).

Hummus. Which I use to confuse with haggis. And which is why I never ate it. Until someone finally told me the difference (did I mention I have two college degrees?).

Saturday Night Live. And specifically, Bill Hader. Who I would like to do dirty, dirty things to while he does his Clint Eastwood impression.

That if I ever become homeless, I will own the most books of any homeless person ever. I don’t care how many Kmart carts I have to steal from their parking lot. They’re ALL coming with me to the creepy alleyway.

My husband. Without which, I would have to move every time there was a spider in the house.

My in-laws (yeah, I have awesome in-laws…how much do you hate me right now?).

My 2004 Hyundai, which is not only paid off but has a sassy chassis that keeps running like a dream (well, a dream with a broken muffler that makes it sound like a monster truck eating a fourwheeler).

I finally have a dining room table…like an ADULT.

Vodka.

Merlot.

Captain Morgan.

Beer.

Scotch.

Pumpkin beer.

Rum.

Eggnog.

Christmas-themed beer.

Cherry Bounce (which is a family recipe involving vodka, cherries and I swear, body parts from a unicorn).

Beer in a bottle.

Also a can.

And occasionally out of a jar.

And FINE! I’ll give a legit one. GAWD. I’m thankful that even though I lost the title of mother this year, I was quickly reminded by some wonderful people that I still hold the title of beloved wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, in-law, friend and kindred spirit.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!