As an adult, Thanksgiving is hands-down my all-time favorite holiday. I don’t have to buy gifts, dress up, put lights on my house, hype my kids up on sugar, or pretend that I can sing. The colors of Thanksgiving create the perfect rainbow. The orange of an early mimosa yields to the bright red of a Bloody Mary. The auburn of an afternoon amber morphs to the crimsons of mulled wine, then a Malbec with the meal. Finally, rich browns of coffee and liqueur lead into the evening with perfection. Football keeps the men out of the kitchen, and with control over the meal I can lightly steam the veggies or opt for a Caesar instead of the overcooked green beans and other such casseroles. Tubers and marshmallows? Still Stupid.
Thanksgiving isn’t entirely about booze, of course. It’s about booze and food. It’s the once a year, all day dinner party where the goal is to stay mildly drunk from morning till night without ever insulting relatives or having to disappear for just a moment, only to be found passed out in another room while the vegetables turn to mush and the turkey burns. Some would argue that Thanksgiving involves giving thanks. There are different notions of to whom this thanks is due, but forefathers often top the list. It’s not that I don’t have an appreciation for history; I do, though I’ve never subscribed to the practice of dwelling on the dead. That’s not disrespect; rather it’s a reflection of my own wishes. When all my Thanksgivings have passed, I don’t want anyone wasting time dwelling on me, and certainly not on a holiday when they should be getting their drink on. If our forefathers were anything like me, and I’m sure at least one of them was, then I’m honoring them with my drunkenness. It’s the right thing to do, really.
As I plan the menu, stock the liquor cabinet, and contemplate spending a small fortune on brand new bamboo placemats, I can’t help but wonder what Thanksgiving will mean for my children. Will they see it as I did? As the brown Thursday of boring adults who try to keep the kids quiet by offering them a slimy bone to rip apart? I vow not to force upon them any carcass remnants masked as trophies. I don’t expect them to jump for joy if presented with a Thanksgiving coloring book which, when sold, should be accompanied by a box of crayons in various shades of brown. But I also won’t be renting a bouncy house or plying them with treats to ease tempers on edge, because not every holiday has to please children. As long as the kids aren’t playing in traffic or sampling the martinis, I see no reason why we can’t keep this one holiday for ourselves. They’ll have Christmas, soon enough.
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