I’ve written quite a bit about Halloween and Christmas over the years, but Thanksgiving had only received a single post thus far A Peek at Thanksgiving in 1995. The reason for that is, Thanksgiving has always been a frustrating holiday for me. I was born on Thanksgiving, and like all people born on holidays, the holidays tend to interfere with your birthday. So, while other kids get to enjoy some random Thursday in March, my birthday would often times be spent traveling to family members homes, or instead of a party, it would just be tacked onto the back of Thanksgiving dinner.
As a kid, this really bothered me. Once my parents divorced, the holidays were always spent traveling from whatever State I lived with my dad in (Florida, Texas, Tennessee) to North Carolina, and then it was spent doing the rounds to the various grandparents (all divorced) and other family get-togethers.
When I finally reached an age where I could make my own choices, I just refused to travel for the holidays and instead spent most of my Thanksgiving/birthdays working. If I was working, I did what I wanted (usually just watched a bunch of movies). Jimmy and I worked for a man at the movie theater named William McKay, and he was a firm believer that no one should ever work on their birthday, so since then I’ve taken every birthday off. He was right, it’s the one day of the year that is yours, and you should do what you want on it.
I spent several Thanksgiving Days at McDonalds growing up. My father wasn’t huge on cooking, so that’s just where we ate. While my grandmother lived with us, she took care of Thanksgiving (as seen in the 1995 post) which was by far the least stressful and most traditional Thanksgiving we ever had. Over the last couple of years, I’ve had a couple of quiet Thanksgivings with just Brandy and my mom, and they have been the best. Brandy has cooked up a little duck and some yummy sides, and we just enjoy it without the stress and drama of other family members.
Recently, I asked a couple of friends if they prefer a traditional dinner. It provided me some time to reflect on my own Thanksgiving history and my desires. I think deep down, I want the movie Thanksgiving dinner. You know, the one with the big table and tons of family around. Sadly, my family fractured over and over through divorce, and we just never had that. Now, I prefer something a little less traditional, quieter, and intimate.
As life tends to do, it got a little busy in the weeks leading up to Halloween and I didn’t get all the way into the Halloween spirit as I had hoped I would. I’m going to try a little bit better with Thanksgiving. It starts with this post, and I’m going to dust off another old blog post I wrote years ago about sitcom Thanksgiving episodes. Then, I’m going to prioritize watching both Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (a yearly watch for me) and Dutch. There is also a great episode of Just Shoot Me that takes place on Thanksgiving I try and watch each year.
So, here is to a good Thanksgiving 2023. The final Thanksgiving of my thirties and hopefully one for the memory books.