A Thanksgiving PSA

Now that we’re into November, there are a few things you can expect.


The first is a rant from me about what you can expect: 

Thankful Lists

You will be inundated with blog posts, stories and articles about what people are thankful for. Those are fine and dandy, but this will not be one of those posts. If it were, I would say I’m thankful for most of my family, friends, baseball and pesto. Unless you’re a real ass, I will assume you are also thankful for the good things in your life.

I say practice an “attitude of gratitude” on a daily basis, not just when people gather around a bird carcass stuffed with stale bread.


People will make a big deal out of “Surviving the Holidays” in reference to meals like it’s the apocalypse. Apparently the appearance of extra food is something that requires careful planning and strategies to navigate, as eating reasonably sized portions of traditional foods is a foreign concept to people once the leaves start to fall.

The last time I checked, turkeys were not an endangered species as of yet and green bean casserole and pie can actually be recreated in months that don’t end in “er.” In addition, there is nothing more annoying than listening to people complain about all the food they ate.

Remember the attitude of gratitude? Be glad you have the option and scoop a little perspective and moderation on top of those taters.

Family (Dys)function

People will also make a big deal out of “Surviving the Holidays” like it’s the apocalypse when it comes to family, and on this note, I can’t deny the fact that stuffing the bird with Prozac shouldn’t be discounted.

As Johnny Carson famously said, “Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often.”

While my situation no longer includes large family gatherings—something I kind of miss—forcing a bunch of people to “be merry and bright” on a specific day at a specific time without any dysfunction is asking a lot.

There will be one or two people doing most of the work while the others linger around and ask when the food will be done. Kids will be screaming, but that will be marginally less annoying than the cousin telling you what you’re doing wrong with the yams and with your life.

The highlight will be when your crazy uncle inserts one too many jokes about “being a breast/leg man” or “tying the legs together to keep things moist”and eventually lands on the the magic phrase that sends your aunt storming out of the dining room to sit in her car.


While I would like to keep this centered on Thanksgiving—Christmas/consumerism rants to follow—I have to add in decorations, as this is about that time of year when a) people start complaining about the early appearance of Christmas items in stores and b) others are busy hanging old socks from the fireplace mantle and sprigs of dead plants from doorways in hopes of a kiss.

Soon displaying bright blinking lights and inflatable characters in your front yard will not warrant a neighbor watch meeting you are conveniently not invited to to discuss the “trashing down” of the neighborhood. And while I agree that it’s best to get those outdoor decorations up before the snow flies, when it comes to the inside décor, let’s keep the reindeer hidden until the turkey trots away.

PSA Conclusion

I suppose my unsolicited advice is to not freak out about “surviving the season,” as that places unnecessary stress on a situation that usually brings enough stress of its own. Plus, it’s annoying. Be thankful for what you have and remember that once Thanksgiving is over, you get to do it all again with the same group of crazy bastards a month later for Christmas.

For that, I am most thankful for Vodka.

Oh! And for Studio 30 Plus, as this post is in response to this week’s prompt:

Being Thankful

You can blame them.

39 responses to “A Thanksgiving PSA

  1. Melanie The Spork Lover

    Absolutely love and agree with everything you’ve written here. I will be hosting Thanksgiving for the first time this year. I bought a house last October and I am not concentrating on anything besides, “I have been through a lot in life, and now I am blessed to have this home where I can have family over and make my first turkey!” Now, when they get there I will liquor them up and try not to focus on the strange interactions and uncomfortable situations. Until then, I’m excited about it.

  2. Pass the vodka. For all of the reasons you stated above. Had to laugh about the uncle’s comments, though!

    • The uncle also makes “slushies” that the children are not allowed to partake in. I will save you one of those (and suck every last drop of the liquor from the ice cubes.)

  3. I really don’t like the phrase “surviving the holidays”. I feel like each day, much less a group of days, should not be something we need to survive. We aren’t living on an island eating only rice and boiling our water. Truth: holidays are stressful, families are stressful, yadda yadda, but I think the best thing to do is take a deep breath and TRY to enjoy it.

    And oh yeah, be thankful ; ) Thankful that we aren’t actually living on an island boiling water.

    That being said, I can’t wait for your “Christmas rants”.

    Keep me smiling Abby. I adore thee.

    • Exactly. It’s not like the food is set out to attack us or that all self-control must be lost. It’s a time to enjoy some time off and possibly some family, or time off from family. Whatever floats your boat 😉

  4. I actually LOVE the holidays, about as much as I loved Johnny Carson. And that was a lot. One of the very few times I have witnessed my father laugh was when I was allowed to sit with him and watch Johnny. And I also loved his sense of humor. He was like a Letterman x 10, before Letterman. He didn’t even have to talk. Just give a look.

    • He was a bit before my time, but like everything else, I’m sure things “back in the day” were a bit better than they are now. I remember watching it a little bit, but mostly I’m told stories. Good stories. And I agree about the holidays. They are what you make of them!

  5. All I got out of this was that you are not only my soulmate in your baseball adoration but also possibly can match my undying love for pesto?!

  6. Haha, we had our Thanksgiving a month ago, but we consider it one of those “Canadian holidays” that we didn’t have back in Poland, so I went to LO’s mom’s house and we ate cabbage rolls and sausage off a stick. It was awesome! Happy Thanksgiving, woman.

  7. I would take family dysfunction over spending Thanksgiving alone for the 3rd year. I hate that I have no $$ to fly back home like the rest of my friends. 😦

    Sorry, just needed to whine a bit.

  8. What IS it with those “lists”, eh? Hell, I do them like on every post but everyone starts being list obsessed after halloween. Thankful lists, santas list, etc…i wonder if craigslist is behind it.

    Lame joke, I know.

    I don’t know why people feel we must “survive” the season. the only true thing worthy of “survival” status is if you’re a turkey.

  9. I, too, am quite thankful for pesto. Mmmm.

    I loathe those inflatable lawn decorations. LOATHE. I do not understand them. I do not understand how people can spend hundreds of dollars on something that looks like a festive Criminal Minds scene once the temps drop just a hair below freezing. So disturbing.

    I’m with you on the overeating. The less you eat of all the deliciousness, the more meals you can make out of the leftover. This is called “Awesome”. More people should try it.

    Can we discuss Black Friday? No?

  10. My family has never been big on Thanksgiving so I really don’t get excited about it. This will be the first Friday after in ages I havent had to work due to obvious reasons.

    And speaking of obvious reasons, I feel like an idiot because of all the thankful crap going around. I was wondering what the increase of thankfulness was all about on FB and Twitter and totally forgot we’re in November. Yeah, I need to start working again.

  11. I hate any blog posts about being thankful etc….It’s great that people are thankful, but I think we all are all year long. It just seems like lazy writing to me.

  12. Love, love, LOVE this! I too, think that ‘surviving the holidays’ is the biggest load of shit ever. My eyes glaze over at anyone who starts getting stressed about all the cooking, and all the presents, and oh gee, the entire family are coming, and how will I cope and there’s just so much to do and OH MY GOD, SHUT UP MOANING.

    If you survive a war, or a lion attack, I think you’re worthy of recognition. I will punch you in the face if you even try and gain sympathy for surviving a festive holiday.

  13. Ah! You’re so far north you’re an unamerican Canadian! You’re really a Canadian! Get her! GET HER!!

  14. This is why we celebrate Thanksgiving at the beginning of October in Canada. A lot more room between turkeys 😉

    My last chemo is set for Dec 21. I’m going to be sick as hell this “holiday season” and I’m looking forward to it SO much. Bring on the turkey coma, family fights, and malfunctioning decorations. This season I’m celebrating being alive and it’s going to be awesome. Although, I’ll probably end up pulling out the rest of my hair hearing people brag about how they’re thankful for their “hubbies” and shoe collections for the next month.

    • Well I am thankful that Dec. 21 is your last chemo treatment, my friend, as I know what a long and twisted road its been. Your perspective is something that we should all be thankful for–and take note of. Well, along with your recipes for holiday goods.

  15. Ok, I waited to comment because I wanted to talk to my wife about our family dysfunction and get “permission” so….

    Thanksgiving and Christmas are, for me, demilitarized zones. You eat together, you let the kids play together, you watch football games, and you shut up about everything else. We have issues in my family and I have chosen to ignore them during the holidays.

    If you read my blog, it’s easy to see what I’m thankful for and about. I will say, I’m thankful for our blogging friendship and getting a chance to read your brilliance on a daily basis.

    now…where the virtual pumpkin pie?

  16. I actually love this time of year. And all the Christmas decor out in the department stores (while startling at how it keeps creeping out earlier and earlier) doesn’t really bother me. I refuse to listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving, but I’m not going to like pull a knife on someone if I walk into their cube and hear Mariah belting out something about wanting sex for Christmas.
    And truthfully, I’ll probably skip most of those thankful listy posts you mentioned above since I’ve already read like 5 and it’s not even halfway through the month. Except yours. Because I’m thankful for you. *kisses*

  17. Thank you for this. I’ve been trying my damndest to just ignore the pending holiday season this year. I think it’s working.

  18. for all the reasons above (esp that attitude of gratitude) I adore you. I agree, I made green bean casserole all year round! WHY NOT! Live a little people!!!!

  19. Love that Johnny Carson quote!

    Great post.

  20. I’m thankful for this post. 😉 And for Prozac-infused turkey. And definitely for vodka.

  21. Hehe 🙂 I’m so thankful that we don’t have thanksgiving in Australia. We just deal with Christmas. I try to be thankful as much as I can be, like genuinely thankful, I think it makes a difference. I think if people can’t be genuinely thankful about things, then perhaps they need to stay away from situations that will drive them up the wall!! Just a thought.

    Your post made me smile 🙂

  22. I am thankful that I have the appreciation for things all year long, so I really don’t need to do anything extra on (non?) Turkey Day.

    also thankful for vodka…

  23. “The highlight will be when your crazy uncle inserts one too many jokes about “being a breast/leg man” or “tying the legs together to keep things moist”and eventually lands on the the magic phrase that sends your aunt storming out of the dining room to sit in her car.”
    This was classic! Just about everyone has one of those creepy uncles. We would usually see ours at Fourth of July and he would proceed to get drunk and make a mess out of one of the bathrooms. Now, my husband and I just hang out with other people’s extended families at the holidays. No pressure, we can just laugh.

  24. Love. This. Rant.

    Pass the vodka.

  25. Ha! This reminds me of the work email that came through the “Everyone” listserv yesterday. It started with one person writing about Veteran’s Day and how grateful he was to veterans. Next thing you know a hundred other people are responding to the initial email with (what were basically) I’m grateful, too, messages. That’s how I view “Thankful” posts. It’s like everyone is in a rush to let everyone else know that they are thankful, too…come on, folks…it’s not a contest to see who is “most Thankful!”

  26. We humans are so predictable aren’t we? No matter who you are, where you come from, this post strikes a chord. I’m Canadian, my husband is American, so imagine TWO Thanksgivings, followed by Christmas! 😉

  27. Funny stuff, beautifully written. One more thing I can be thankful for. 😉

  28. Pingback: Taper Time and Expert Fashion Advice « prettyfittie

  29. Pingback: I am thankful. « Women Are From Mars

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