Turkey, with a side of smallpox



Thanksgiving – I’m just not a big fan. What are we really celebrating? It’s that one Holiday that has a lot of hype, big build up, hours in the kitchen, to end with everyone in a food coma by 2 p.m., and then everyone acts surprised when the Cowboys lose by 6 p.m. Of course, it’s fun to gather with friends and family, but I can do that anytime throughout the year without drunk Uncle Pete. 

Is the one time we landed on Plymouth Rock, invited the friendly Indigenous neighbors over for dinner and gifted them with blankets laced with smallpox cause for celebration? The original dinner conversation must have been like: “Hey, we have big plans for the neighborhood that don’t include you, but we will eventually name a football team after you and celebrate giving you smallpox with a holiday called Thanksgiving.” 

Fun, food, friends and family, what could possibly go wrong? Give me a quick dine and dash at Cracker Barrel with some choice family members, minus the dry turkey, no giblets, add the chicken fried steak and cream gravy and I’m golden.

Some of my reasons for my take it or leave it, mostly leave it, unless pie is involved attitude with Thanksgiving include; stress and pressure, family issues, dietary restrictions, pressure to be grateful and finally traumatic association. 

The stress and pressure of cooking a large meal, it’s like if Thanksgiving were a video game it would be rated E for “Extreme Kitchen Chaos.” 

Then, there is the magic of family issues, drunk Uncle Pete that can make family dynamics interesting.  

Like a Vegan at a barbecue, there are going to be some dietary restrictions and challenges arise via peanut or gluten allergies and the ever-popular diabetes. 

 There is also a more serious reason some may not like the holiday because it’s associated with a negative or traumatic event. Not the time drunk Uncle Pete asked his girlfriend, Cheryl, to marry him and she said “no,” but maybe the loss of a loved one. Yes, I have jokes, but it’s important to recognize that people’s feelings toward Thanksgiving can vary widely, and it’s okay to have different perspectives on the holiday. 

I think it’s important to recognize what I don’t enjoy about the holiday and make better decisions for the Holiday, like a reservation at Cracker Barrel with family conversations in the gift shop, games at the table while you wait for your food, dessert and coffee and you’re done. Another Thanksgiving on the books, ladies and gentlemen, all while drunk Uncle Pete was at home confused at why the Cowboys lost again. We still love you, Pete.

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