Thanksgiving Again

And it’s a holiday I like because hackneyed or not, it is nice to take a day to be thankful for the things one has in one’s life. Last year I wrote up a Thanksgiving Advent Calendar, which one thing a day in November through Thanksgiving that I was thankful for; if you missed it and want to see it (or saw it and want to see it again) the entries on it are here. For this year I’ll just note I am thankful for the usual reasons: Family, friends, a successful career in a field I like, the ability to speak and be heard, and that we’re going to relatives for Thanksgiving and all I have to do is show up and eat. It’s a good life. I would be foolish not to be thankful for it.

For those in the US: Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope you’re spending it with people you like and love. Everyone else in the world: Happy Thursday. Folks in the US are likely to be scarce on the ground today. I’m sure you can get along without us for a day.

51 Comments on “Thanksgiving Again”

  1. Happy Turkey Day!!!
    We’re hosting this year for the first time, so I’m thankful that I get show off some of my new recipes, and my aunt is showing up early this morning to help out in the kitchen.
    ♪Food, glorious food, glorious food…♫

  2. Enjoy. I’ll raise a glass of bourbon to you all from over here in the UK. Actually weren’t ‘you lot’ trying to get away from ‘us lot’ in the first place ;-) ?
    BTW don’t we get a choice of which turkey to save (all that means is another dies in it’s place)? Perhaps it’s the turkey in the Redshirt that gets it in the neck.

  3. happy thanksgiving!

    I already have the turkey in the oven. There’s a long delay from that to when I have to start cooking the side dishes, but I was so afraid of oversleeping and not starting the turkey on time that I’m too wound up to go back to sleep, so decided to see what everyone else is up to.

    I’m thankful, lucky, and fortunate to have found my wife.

  4. I stumbled across this blog this summer, so I didn’t see the Advent calendar last year. I just started looking through it. It is so nice to just read. Just these little bits. And then think about my own equivalents and be thankful. It would make a great little book and I would buy it in a second.

    Also I grew up in Ohio so I like seeing bits about my home state.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. It’s a little weird being out of the US for Thanksgiving. As it is just the wife and I, and we have things that need doing, nothing special will be happening today. However, I did make sure to tell her that I was thankful for her.

  6. Happy T Day to you too, John. It’s been a year … many highs and lows. There are always things to be thankful for. One was running across your books and blog—been enjoying your thoughts quite a lot.

    Have a great day.

  7. Have a happy holiday! Not being from US I’m not celebrating nothing but I want to THANK you for your books. They are a joy to read.

  8. I’m thankful for my spouse, our families, our mostly-good health, our comparitively-good financial status, our home, our friends, our community, our cats, the overall results of the last election, Whatever and it’s inestimable host, the other places I hangout online, and Tim Berners-Lee.

  9. I’m grateful for my many dear friends, without whom I quite literally would not have survived the past year. And (partially related) I’m grateful for the fact that (as of my checkup Monday) I don’t have cancer, don’t have cancer, don’t have cancer. And I’m grateful for the half of my tongue I still have (which I’ll keep as long as I don’t have cancer, don’t have cancer, don’t have cancer).

    I’m going to the annual Thanksgiving semi-potluck* of my college friends from my college fan group (and their spouses, friends, children, and in some cases GRANDchildren), which is in NJ this year.

    I’m bringing my famous tofu pate, my Black Hole Brownies of Death, mushroom-barley soup, and fresh-baked bread (just took it out of the oven 20 minutes ago).

    Bright Blessings to all of you (in the US) for a Happy Thanksgiving! Safe travel, safe travel home!

    *people bring things, but the hosts provide the main course

  10. Happy holidays. Very envious of you USians- allowing yourselves two turkey-and-family celebrations little more than a month apart.

  11. Shawn Achor suggests writing down three things a day that you are gratefull for. I haven’t managed that yet but here are three for today. My best friend of 40 plus years. The band Imagine Dragons. The formerly ferral tom I spent the last four months on. We’re friends now.
    Have a good thanksgiving everyone.

  12. Happy Thanksgiving Folks. Thankful this year for a family I enjoy spending time with, my cats, my friends, and being gainfully employed for a year now. Oh! And John and the commenterati for making this corner of the Internet a safe haven of smarts and good humor!

  13. Happy day of thanks to John, Krissy, Athena, and that big dog. But I’m sure the State Department would prefer you not point out to the world they can do without us, John. Tut, tut.

  14. Thanks, John, for all that you do to make the world a happier and better place.

    Thanks to the other commenters here for vigorous debate that usually stays on this side of respectful.

    Thanks to all my family and friends. They know why.

    And very special thanks to the kitchen and waitstaff at the restaurant where my parents and I had Thanksgiving dinner (aside to Gulliver: Kerbey Lane), which meant my mom didn’t have to try to cook with her right arm in a splint.

  15. This is my first Thanksgiving at home, not surrounded by friends or family. My family is scattered all over the U.S. and I spend six months of the year flying around for work, and because I’d alrady seen and soent quality time with various family members a few times this year, I decided to stay home. My sweetie is with his family this weekend, so it’s just me and the dogs and cats. No turkey, no shopping, nothing of the traditional holiday stuff.

    Also… No arguments. No political discussions. No comparisons. No judgment. No tension. No pressure. No weight-gain. No worrying. I suspect there are folks out there who pity me being “alone for the holiday.” I miss seeing my mom, but I’m really happy not to have had to fly or drive anywhere. I get to spend my precious time off doing things *I* want to do.

    I’m not saying I’d want to give up all holidays or traditions. But skipping them this year is feeling awfully nice.

  16. Congratulations, Xopher, for not having cancer, not having cancer, not having cancer! I bet that’s a great feeling when you find out. :)

  17. I’m grateful to have a job after a year and 8 months (to the day!) of not having a job. Mind you it is mind numbing boring work… but it HAS A PAY CHECK! :-)

    Mind ya’ll while today is officially Thanksgiving, because of family schedules it will be later this weekend before we do that celebration. But gonna be weird since it is the first one since Mama died. However, be advised that I WILL be making homemade biscuits (which she taught me to do) and gonna try not to eat them all before the big feast. Come on over everyone… we always have too much.

  18. Yea, Xopher!

    A happy Thanksgiving to all of you, each and every of you. I have so much and so many to be grateful for, more than I could say if I tried. Thank you, all.

  19. @Other Bill: does a day home alone with peace and quite followed by steak, escalloped potatoes, mixed veggies, and a cold beer count? lol. Happy thanksgiving all… :-D

  20. I’m thankful for the Whateverian Commentariat. Thanks, everyone, for making making me laugh out loud on a regular basis!

  21. Just got home from the hour drive to my brother’s house, and big family Thanksgiving. Four generations there, I’m so thankful my 86 year old mother is in such good health, and was there to celebrate with us again. Lots of leftovers, just finished stuffing my frig with all the –“take some pie, take some more turkey”! Hope you and yours, and all the readers here as well had as wonderful a day. Happy Thanksgiving!

  22. I am thankful that our holiday repast is not yet governed by medical boards that determine what can and cannot be consumed or which demand punitive exercise for over-indulgence for I would certainly be chained to a treadmill even as I write this. It also occurs to me to be grateful that I have the ability to write this, that Mr. Scalzi indulges me, and us by providing a forum, and that I do not need to worry about mortar shells landing on my house or jack-booted thugs kicking in the door tonight. Most people in the US do have a great deal to be thankful for. To celebrate, I bought a small jar of peanut butter and the cheapest jar of jelly I could find so that I could remind myself that once upon a time it was a good day when I could afford to buy such luxuries, and that other people remain in such circumstances every day. I recall that, although the journey has been long and remarkably unpleasant from time to time, I have covered a great deal of ground and hope to do still more.

  23. Chalk me up as someone who also really enjoys Thanksgiving. One, it still hasn’t been commercialized nearly as much as Christmas and Halloween. And two, a lot of the cheesiness is sort of quaint and cute instead of mechanized mass produced bullshit. The Thanksgiving turkey calls to mind elementary school plays about the Pilgrams instead of billboards on the side of the highway, like Santa does.

    I ate stuff with my mother and her brother and his wife and kids. I don’t really like my extended family normally, because they’re a bunch of mouthbreathers. But today was all right.

  24. Happy Thanksgiving to the Scalzi family and the Lunch Mob. I’m grateful that John hosts this space and for everyone who comments. You folks make my life more interesting, thanks for that!

    We had a rather modest (vegetarian, because I cooked) dinner, since I go back to work tomorrow and the wife’s got the ‘flu. But I knew it was definitely a holiday, because one cat got out of the house, another got onto the stove, and a third threw up some sort of plastic or rubber washer. It can’t really be a holiday if I’m not swearing at the cats or taking one to the emergency vet. Or both.

  25. I’m thankful the cancer gods (and modern medicine) let us keep Xopher. Thanks, cancer gods.

    I’m thankful to my aunt who taught me how to cook and how to delegate kitchen tasks without micromanaging (too much), which turned out to be useful outside the kitchen too.

    @ Andrew Hackard

    I’ll bet they were packed! Between me and my sister, my mom spent 25 years making us healthy home cooked meals, even when money was tight as it often was, so I love getting to cook for her on holidays. Plus, I get to assemble a whole captive audience of guinea pigs…er, beta eaters, I mean :-/

    Dinner was a hit. Now I’m going to slip into a food coma while crazy people go shopping.

  26. @Gulliver: Not as much as you might expect. I was at the one on Wm Cannon, and I think it’s just far enough off the beaten trail that people didn’t think about it, or something. In any case, we were seated immediately and served promptly. Post-game dinner was at Baker Street on S. Lamar, and it was virtually empty — and the food was excellent.

    @Xopher: Continuing best wishes for a complete recovery.

  27. @Xopher – I just past the one year date on my treatments, so far so good. Hope the road is smooth for you.

    Thanksgiving here was good, I have plenty to be thankful for. Off to work today but I understand I am expected to gear up for battle in the war on Christmas. I guess I just won’t be happy until there is no Christmas any more – or so I am told

  28. @ Frankly: I’m pretty sure crass consumerism already killed it and reanimated the gutted corpse, but as long as the retail drones are ordered to wish you Merry Christmas, Bill O’Reilly knows the Spirit is alive and well.

    I’ll be wishing people a Merry…Solstice, complete with the pause, just so I can raise their hopes and dash them against the wall of their own existential hollowness, but then I’m an old soldier in this war. No, not really. I get plenty of satisfaction just by remaining as calm as ever while neurotic hypocrites drive each other to drink. And to those Christians who actually celebrate Christmas by helping the less fortunate, Merry Christmas and thank you for offsetting your fellow Christians’ month-long campaign of bitter belligerence, compulsive shopping and self-pity parties.

  29. Question: For an Atheist or Agnostic . . . when you say you are thankful, who or what are you saying it to? Doesn’t “giving thanks” imply that you someone or something has given you something to be thankful for? God? The Universe? The Flying Spaghetti Monster? Could you be thankful for yourself? Happenstance that finds you in the position of having something to be thankful for?

    This is not mean to be a dig . . . merely playful curiosity. :P

  30. @ Ryan Prinkey: I’m thankful to the people who make my world and the world of the people around me a better place. And I appreciate my good fortune even when it’s merely happenstance, but I imprecisely (or ironically) often just say I’m thankful, even though one does not, strictly speaking, thank blind forces in the literal sense of the word. If there are any Higher Power(s) involved in my existence, I’m thankful to them as well, though I seriously doubt any such Being(s) conform to the human concepts of God.

    As I often say, if the question is whether anything we humans would recognize as conscious will is behind the universe or even our corner of it, I’m agnostic. If the question is whether humanity’s notions of God faithfully reflect any such Beings, I’m atheist. Either way, I firmly believe religion is a human construction. But, unlike antitheists such as Dawkins and Hitchens, I don’t regard belief in what I consider myths to be a cause of evil, because I believe people are responsible for their own actions, good and evil, regardless of what banners they cloak them in, and that society and I should judge people based on their conduct towards others, not on their metaphysical rationales. So I’m thankful to good people whether or not they believe in any God.

  31. Hm. My remote meat thermometer broke a while ago, and I couldn’t find a replacement, so I decided to try those “button” thermometers for the turkey. Stick them in the turkey, and they “pop” up when the bird is cooked. Use them once, then toss them.

    Anyway, either I don’t understand when they’re “popped” or I had two of them that were both busted, i.e. my primary and reserve chute both failed to open. So, for a while I kept fretting that the turkey wasn’t cooking, was taking way longer than I expected, and then eventually, I dug out an instant read guage thermometer, and it said it was cooked. Annoying.

    Ryan: Question: For an Atheist or Agnostic . . . when you say you are thankful, who or what are you saying it to?

    “thankful” is synonymous with “fortunate” in my book.

    Say you go into a casino, put a dollar in a slot machine, pull the lever, and win a big jackpot. Would you “thank” the wholly mechanistic, unconscious, unthinking, unaware, hunk of metal clockwork that is the slot machine?

    Me neither. But I’d still be thankful. I’d still feel fortunate.

    On the other hand, if someone won a jackpot at a slot machine and thought that an omniscient, omnipotent, conscious, caring, God willed the slot machine to give them the jackpot, then that would occur as rather… interesting… from my perspective. I’d probably be asking your question of them: Who are you saying that to?

  32. This bit: “For those in the US: Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope you’re spending it with people you like and love. Everyone else in the world: Happy Thursday. Folks in the US are likely to be scarce on the ground today. I’m sure you can get along without us for a day.”

    was very nice; a rare piece of global perspective from a Yank.

    Which I, for one, am certainly grateful for.

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