Before our first glimpse of Thanksgiving turkey or family, my long holiday weekend kicked off after work Wednesday when I arrived home around 4 p.m. to find Thursday morning’s newspaper already delivered, articles and all. The largest physical edition every year, Thanksgiving Day papers are coveted for their Black Friday ads, more or less the official Christmas season launch. Shoppers can’t wait to get started on it — hence more and more stores reopening on Thanksgiving itself, hours ahead of the Black Friday starter pistols. It stands to reason our carrier couldn’t wait to get past it, to unload this newsprint behemoth as soon as possible.
Thanksgiving is nigh again! Time for gratitude toward those wonderful people who endure us, another round of overeating, more complaints about What the First Thanksgiving Was Really Like in Case You Haven’t Heard That One Before, and both budgets and self-control thrown out the window for the sake of the longest Friday of the year.
Every year I receive exactly one (1) greeting card wishing me Happy Thanksgiving. A fellow who works for my company in another state used to need my help on assorted requests several years ago, and I’ve been on his Thanksgiving card list ever since. Nowadays he needs my help only sporadically — if we have contact more than twice a year, I’d be surprised. But he keeps me in his thoughts. Above and beyond the pre-printed, mass-produced, well-wishing boilerplate, he writes a note of personalized appreciation inside each card, much more than just “Hi!” and a name. It’s always wordier than 90% of the Christmas cards we receive, the closest I ever get to an old-fashioned letter. It’s a tradition that used to strike me as odd, but as I’ve grown older I’ve come to appreciate it as a kind touch that adds a modest, welcome flourish to the proceedings. Also, this year’s model looks niftier than ever.
To MCC’s longtime readers: thank you for being you. Thanks for stopping by. Thanks very much for the comments and the encouraging feedback, whether one-click or multi-paragraph. Thanks for your acts, great or small, that go a long way toward making this peculiar labor of love an enriching experience. Special thanks to anyone who’s ever recommended or just mentioned the site to any other human. Thanks to all of you for being there at every level.
Our family wishes a happy, blessed Thanksgiving to you frequent visitors and newcomers alike. May your holiday and your weekend be filled to overflowing with a continual parade of kindnesses, from the largest favors to the smallest gestures. And may you find yourselves pleasantly surprised at which moments come to mean the most.
All this week, every time someone friendly asked me, “Got plans for Thanksgiving?” I’ve had to shrug and say, “Wish I knew.” As of this morning, six days before the big event, neither my family nor Anne’s had communicated a single word to either of us one way or another. No Facebook “event” set up. No direct messages. No general statuses. No phone calls. No cards. No sign of any volunteers. No visible evidence that any of them still considered Thanksgiving a worthy celebration and not a fabricated Hallmark card-selling stunt.
Hoping for the best but planning for the worst, we decided tonight to buy our own fourteen-pound backup turkey. Just in case. Because sometimes you gotta take holiday matters into your own hands.
In the spirit of the American holiday, the management here at Midlife Crisis Crossover would like to wish a Happy Thanksgiving upon you ‘n’ yours, and to express our sincerest gratitude to You, the Viewers at Home. Thanks for stopping by. Thanks very much for your generous encouragement signals in all their varied forms. Danke schön for making this long-term hobby experiment enjoyable even when it’s not easy. And enjoy a Special Thanks during the end credits for just being You.
Whether you’re visiting loved ones, liked ones, or other ones, or opting out of the visiting experience altogether, may your celebratory meals be enjoyed in peace, love, harmony, and kindness in both spirit and tongue. May your gathering remain festive and filled with fellowship, and may it not turn into a flame war so atrocious that it earnsits own hashtag.
And don’t forget to thank the hard-working chef(s) and collaborators who made your Turkey Day feeding possible. Even if the turkey is a little dry, or the dinner rolls are a little overcooked, or they forgot to salt anything, or they think jellybeans are an acceptable substitute for stuffing, or they’re serving their homemade off-putting cranberry-rhubarb-coconut cobbler again, their generosity, diligence, and talents nonetheless deserve a round of recognition. After you’ve complimented them or handed them awards, then you can go fall asleep in their favorite recliner or on their living room rug. Cheers!
Just because I can
Write a Thanksgiving haiku
Clearly means I should