You know, that day before Black Friday.

In today’s age,  Thanksgiving is a holiday that is largely skipped over. Retailers tend to jump right from Halloween to Christmas and aside from some cheap decorations and special end cap displays of stuff from the cooking section, it doesn’t get much attention anymore. The exception of course being when large retail outlets announce they are opening earlier and earlier on Thanksgiving day to stretch out Black Friday that much more (thankfully here in Maine, large stores and most restaurants aren’t open on Turkey day by law). So while Thanksgiving has largely been looked at as a sign of commercialism taking advantage of both workers and customers alike, there are still things that bring me some sense of joy on the day of turkey.

-Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: Ironic one of the biggest icons of Thanksgiving comes from a giant retailer. Growing up I used to watch this every year, especially for the kid’s show sponsored floats. (Boys growing up in the 80s will always remember the He-man float of 1986 to hype the live action movie). I don’t watch it from beginning to end as much anymore but there are still gems to be seen and it’s better than the usual dreck you get from the networks on a Thursday morning. Instead of watching morning hosts try to be chipper inside a studio, you can watch them try to be chipper in the freezing cold.

-Marathons: Speaking of TV, Thanksgiving usually brings with it some marathons on some of the cable networks. Discovery channel has done this in the past, and Food Network usually offers some appetite enticing Thanksgiving theme shows during the day (The Good Eats Thanksgiving specials are my favs). Makes for something to watch while you are devouring copious amounts of food and the relatives are watching football, which I don’t pay attention too until it’s close to the playoffs.

– Black Friday.  Or more so the fact that I don’t have to work on Black Friday anymore. This stuff is getting insane with the way that retailers and businesses force their employees to come in and work during the holiday, often claiming that working on Turkey Day is “voluntary” . You never realize how grateful you can be for the Holiday when you don’t look at late November with dread. If you are stuck working during Thursday, here’s to you and hope the money you are getting for it is good and able to afford something special this year.

-“The Thanksgiving Night Tradition”. Yup. Wrestling has a STRONG history of big shows on or around Thanksgiving. From the days of the territories, to Starrcade, to the Survivor Series, some damn good wrestling always came in late November. Although Thanksgiving night itself isn’t the day anymore with wrestling on the big stage, The WWE is bringing us an event the weekend before.

-The fixins. Hell yeah I would mention food as part of Thanksgiving. While Turkey is fine, I like it better in sandwiches slathered in mayo for the few days afterwards. What I’m a sucker for is all the side dishes. I LOVE STUFFING. I’m sure I’d get a scolding from Alton Brown about how evil stuffing is, but I love it, especially with a coat of gravy on it. Mashed Potatoes are a must for me. Load up on the spuds with some pepper and a good beef gravy (chicken gravy also good). Yum. A couple of warm bread rolls and Cranberry sauce fill things out nicely. Even if it’s the jelly stuff from the can, cranberry sauce is a nice sweet compliment to things. Add in some deviled eggs and I don’t sleep hungry that night let me tell you. On top of that you have to have chocolate crème pie. I know Pumpkin is traditional, and I will enjoy a slice, but chocolate crème reigns supreme for me. We all have our food traditions, and it’s fun to start new ones as well.

-Family. The whole point for the holiday. The best Thanksgivings I’ve had were the ones I spent going about 2 hours north to a little town in the middle of the woods called Monson, Maine and spending the days with the extended family at my paternal Grandmother’s house. A few years ago I went up with my uncle to spend the day with my aunts, uncle, and a gust of theirs along with my grandmother (who I’m very close with) and it was just as much of a special day as it was as a kid, especially at the time where things were not the best for me. This year I’m making that trip again so I know the holiday will be one I remember for a long time. If you are by yourself, that’s okay. Do something special for yourself and make something positive from the holiday.

So whatever it is that brings you joy on the 27th, take a moment of pause and relish it, no matter how minor it may be. Even if you spend the day in your underwear chugging down beer and watching football, take a moment to remember the good things you have, the good things that have happened, no matter how small, and keep whatever tradition you have alive to make the day special in your own way.

I will be that the AniMaine convention in South Portland, Maine November 21-23rd. I’m running a Damn Write! panel and will be around the entire weekend. You can check out my home con HERE.

You can find my books here

And support me on Patreon

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