My wife doesn't understand Thanksgiving. To her, it's a lot of work (which is true) and, well, she doesn't really care for turkey that much anyway. She definitely doesn't get the point, and I blame this totally on her Italian heritage. I keep telling her we can substitute a yummy lasagna for the sweet potatoes, but this doesn't seem to appease her.
I, on the other hand, believe Thanksgiving to be the purest of holidays. There are no presents to buy, no costumes to create, no cards to send, no holiday mascots (Hello Easter Bunny!) and you don't need to dress up if you don't want to. Madision Avenue has been trying to come up with a way to market Thanksgiving and the best they can do is Black Friday. And that actually happens after Thanksgiving, so I don't count it.
Thanksgiving, to me, is just about getting together with family, having a great meal, watching a little football, playing with the kids and then maybe having a board game battle or two. That's it. There's no drama unless the turkey doesn't get put in the oven early enough and, to be honest, what we actually eat doesn't matter as much as the fact that the family is all getting together to eat it. As much as I love turkey, mashed potatoes (!) and stuffing, if we decided to order Chinese takeout one year I wouldn't go ballistic. The following year, the traditional Thanksgiving - or at least something close to it - would need to return, however. Let's not get too crazy.
Part of the attraction to this holiday for me is that Thanksgiving falls near my birthday and more than a few times I've had a candle to blow out that was nestled in a pumpkin pie (which is perfectly cool). But Thanksgiving is more about getting family together, and spending time with my two boys and my wife when we don't have to worry about the economy or why there are a million leaves mocking us in the front yard. Thanksgiving, unless you are in the kitchen (the SUPERHEROES of Thanksgiving) is mostly about being part of a family, whether they are blood relatives, shipmates or just a friend that lives in the apartment next door.
That's what I love about my favorite holiday. It's just about being with the ones you love and being thankful for how lucky you are.
Now please pass the mashed potatoes and gravy. I'm starving.