Ahhh, Thanksgiving. The time of year when family comes from near and far, we all pause and reflect on how great our lives are, and …. oh who am I kidding? I love the food. I love the food so much that this year I ran a 5k the morning of Thanksgiving in order to allow myself to eat even more food.
Don’t get me wrong, the food doesn’t come without the family. If you plopped a traditional Thanksgiving plate in front of me, but didn’t offer me time with my aunts, uncles, or cousins that I only see a couple of times a year, I’d feel robbed. I always eat corn pudding when I visit my aunts and uncles. The two activities are intrinsically tied. (Side note: Corn pudding is actually a lot more delicious than that wikipedia article makes it look. I swear.)
To me, Thanksgiving means two things: a lazy day on the couch while my father cooks a variety of fantastic foods in the kitchen (if he’d let me help I would, but you enter the kitchen at your own risk in my parents’ house), and then later on reconnecting with extended family surrounded by more fantastic foods and copious amounts of wine. You’ll notice fantastic foods is a trend.
Of all the fantastic foods I shovel into my mouth this time of year, potatoes are my favorite. Mashed, fried, baked, raw. (Okay, not raw.) Mhmmmm potatoes. Because my love for potatoes is well documented in my family, my father takes great pleasure is crafting the most delicious mashed potatoes he can and pairing it with homemade gravy. Not having seconds is probably the biggest sin I could commit. In fact, in my family gluttony is not considered a sin and is instead highly encouraged. I’ve mentioned before the weird pleasure my father gets out of feeding people and how he’s passed it on to me. The more helpings you have, the more loved you are. Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving unless the day is ended with you on the couch completely immobilized by food.
To perhaps sound less like a selfish, food-hoarding heathen, I have carefully crafted a list of the things I am most thankful for this year – just as long as everyone really knows that my priorities may not always be in this precise order.
Things I Am Thankful For (Other Than Potatoes)
All the kooky, sarcastic, frustrating, loud, insane, and loveable members of my family. My family will simultaneously ask me in a rather judging tone if I plan on brushing my hair at all today (answer: no) and also fetch me another blanket for the couch because I just don’t look cozy enough. Gotta love them.
- Old Friends
The kind that you can ignore for days on end – or even weeks or months – and not have any trouble reconnecting. They know you, they get you, they won’t ever mention your unbrushed hair, and they love you unconditionally. Thanks to each of you – you know who you are!
- New Friends
All shiny and new and exciting, these people are the ones you’re still figuring out, but the learning curve is fun. You still brush your hair before you hang out, but they sure can make you laugh. Not to mention, their taste in music is excellent.
- Miscellaneous Happy Thoughts
This one is pretty vague, I’ll admit. But it was either make this list waaaaay too long, or sum it up right here. There are a lot of little things in my life that make me smile, including:
- *whispers* potatoes
- My garden.
- Inside jokes.
- A job well done.
- Coffee in the morning.
- A good book.
- Feeding people.
- Happy hours.
- Chocolate, the good kind.
- Evenings in.
- Evenings out.
- Floppy dog ears. (Did I already mention dogs?)
- Well thought-out plans.
- A complete lack of plans.
- A clean house.
- Finished projects.
- Finished successful projects.
- Laughter for no reason at all.
- The luxury of unabashed goofiness.
… Basically there are a lot of happy thoughts out there. If this were a Disney movie, I wouldn’t even need pixie dust.