The Real Reason for Giving Thanks

Deb Morris Cool, Top 10

Barkeater Chocolates

Family gatherings are important. Family gatherings are important. Say it a few more times and you will eventually convince yourself, your children and your spouse that visiting the extended family (or heeeeyyyyy – how about having both families to our house!) is a good idea. Here’s the thing: something very magical happens every year at the holidays. We continue to look forward to them despite the stress and guilt of not exactly looking forward to them. Why? Because family gatherings are important. And something about retrograde amnesia due to severe trauma from your previous holiday season.

Despite past experiences, food malfunctions, creepy uncles and sibling arguments stemming from some deep seeded resentment regarding a Barbie and a blender, we still insist (year after year) of putting ourselves through the same masochistic routine. So this year, we’ve put together a list of reasons to be thankful, in an effort to suppress our mixed emotions.

  1. Leggings are back in style. Flexibility and breath-ability are very key for Thanksgiving fashion. Especially if (when) you get a little heavy handed with the stuffing. Men – it’s OK for you too; just refer to them as “athletic pants.”
  2. It’s OK to drink red wine (or beer) with turkey. It used to be only acceptable to drink a dry chardonnay with equally dry poultry – but now a nice pinot noir will pair beautifully with the bird.
  3. The cost of a typical Thanksgiving is down about 20% since 1986. That means more money can be spent on extra bottles of pinot noir.
  4. Thanksgiving is the official kickoff to a month of Hallmark Channel’s original Christmas movies. Remember the one about the woman dating the jerk who finally leaves him and hooks up with the really nice guy on Christmas Eve?
  5. With over 4,500 calories to consume, sleep will come easily and deeply for about 90 minutes while waiting for dessert. Since this is typically prime time for your family to stage an intervention to discuss your cousin’s drinking problem, you will be too busy blissfully dreaming about pumpkin pie to get involved. Warning, in your absence, you will be blamed for bringing 14 bottles of pinot noir.
  6. Consumerism. After a good family argument, some troublesome family members will likely storm out decreeing they won’t be back for Christmas. In reality, they secretly needed a self-righteous excuse to head to Wal-Mart for the 6 pm opening and $57 laptop sale.  Note: Don’t get too excited, they will actually be back for Christmas.
  7. There’s someone on Facebook posting about a day worse than yours. Yes, it’s selfish, but rest assured, the post is exaggerated, and despite being “friends,” you actually have never laid eyes on this person. So go ahead and revel without guilt in her misery. Give it a”like” too for good measure.
  8. Hotels. Seriously, what did travelers do before Conrad Hilton built his first hotel? I’ll tell you what they did – stayed with their cousins in sleeping bags on lumpy couches. Today, with a clean and affordable room a mere 10 minutes away, you can take off right after the pie dishes are scraped and just before your grandfather strips down to his underwear for the night.
  9. Chocolate. Umm, this is a chocolate blog – you knew it was coming. Besides, dark chocolate pairs exceptionally well with pinot noir.
  10. Family. Yes, it’s a contradiction and these events are stressful, but family gatherings are important. So crack open another bottle of pinot and make the best of it. And take comfort in the knowledge that you will likely forget all the details before the next Thanksgiving rolls around.

Happy Thanksgiving to all the crazy families out there!Happy Thanksgiving