Monday, November 23, 2009

Turkey: It's Not Just A Country in Europe...

Wow. It's November. And not only that, but we're approaching the end of November. It's nearly 2010. Crazy. And crazier still, it's barely Thanksgiving, and I already see the telltale signs of the December holiday season out and about in my neighborhood. The needle on the Capitol Records tower has been decked out to look like a Christmas tree. There are garlands and mistletoe hanging over the streets in downtown Burbank. And my neighbor claims he has already heard the first Christmas songs of the season being played on the radio.

But wait, time out. Like I said, it's not even Thanksgiving yet. What the hell happened to that holiday? I feel it's one of the most overlooked and under-appreciated days in the whole year, and it seems that it hardly gets the status recognition it most certainly deserves. Remember how they tried to make a big deal out of it when you were in grade school? Remember tracing your hand on that piece of construction paper with the crayon and then coloring in each of your fingers to make little turkeys? Remember those ridiculous pageants the teachers forced you to put on about the Pilgrims and the Native Americans (did we call them Indians back then?) and the very first Thanksgiving dinner?

I do. I remember that. And I also remember the mayhem of Turkey Day, when we'd all pile in the car and go to my Grandparents' house and eat the big meal at two in the afternoon, which was odd to me, because everyone still called it dinner. I remember gorging myself on turkey and potatoes and salad and bread and slipping into a carbohydrate/tryptophan-induced coma in front of the T.V.

Come to think of it, I recall, as the years have passed, the Christmas decorations emerging earlier and earlier, to the point of this year I think I actually saw some alongside the Halloween stuff when I was at Target. For real.

Anyway, all that aside... I thought that this year, seeing as I am spending the holiday here in Los Angeles and not in Colorado with my family, I would take some time to reflect on what the holiday really means, the true root of the word: Thanksgiving. Giving Thanks. Giving thanks for what we are fortunate enough to have, even though sometimes we don't really think of them as luxuries. I thought of this because I remembered the last few months of living in Colorado, and how eager and anxious I was to get out and get to California. What an idiot I was.

Don't get me wrong, I love California. It's my home, my native land, and I most certainly don't hate the fact that it's nearly December and 80 degrees. Seriously. I almost went to the beach today.

Really though, in Colorado, I had it good. I had it easy. I had a gorgeous apartment I was paying almost nothing for, a steady job, my family and friends at arm's length - everything I needed and could hope for - but not necessarily what I wanted. That was the problem. Physically, I was in Colorado. Mentally, I was miles and miles away.

So, in honor of this most understated and overlooked holiday, and also because I think about this shit almost daily, I thought I would pay homage to the little things in my life that I probably didn't appreciate enough when I had them. I am Giving Thanks. Here goes...

Things I Am Grateful For and Will Never EVER Take For Granted Again As Long As I Live:
  • My health
  • My family and friends
  • My freedom
  • My car
  • Free parking
  • The roof over my head, running water, and the standard of living that I am lucky enough to be afforded, despite how minimalistic it may be
  • My mind, wit, talent, and tenacity
  • My job, no matter how stressful, aggravating, and stupid it can be (and it is)
  • The internet
  • Literacy
  • Gas prices under $3
  • My childhood, adolescence, and being a minor
  • Air conditioning
  • Coffee
  • My youth
  • A dishwasher
  • Not having to use a coin-op laundry machine
  • Having beach weather in November
I know, I know... there are probably a million others I could list, but they're kind of a given. And the last one probably has a lot of people green with envy. I can't help it, I just live here. I don't decide what the weather's going to be like.

And with that, I'm off to go draw myself some construction-paper turkeys. Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. Gobble gobble.

No comments:

Post a Comment