Next week, millions of Americans will make the choice to not have large family gatherings for Thanksgiving. Granted, millions will also decide to go ahead and pretend like nothing is different, which is why we will be in a lockdown until Joe Biden’s second term as president.
If you’re one of the people choosing for smaller festivities this year, I commend your decision to be safe. We’re still in the middle of a pandemic and doing whatever we can to keep people safe deserves to be applauded, whatever certain people (and, by that, I mean “stupid people”) will say. So, pat yourself on the back and know you’re doing the right thing.
However, there may be some people who are undecided about what to do. Perhaps you love the pageantry of the holiday and are in need of some well-deserved family time but also know that things are more risky in these COVID times. If you’re one of those people, allow me to point out something that I think a lot of people want to say but never do for some reason: Thanksgiving is, really, kinda lame.
I don’t know why people won’t talk about this more, but it’s absolutely true. The fourth Thursday in November can be fun, but there are also a lot of things about it that make a smaller affair seem like a much better idea. For starters, Thanksgiving is just kind of a bland holiday. You know how everyone loves the Charlie Brown Halloween special and the Charlie Brown Christmas special? There’s a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special, also, and it kinda sucks. This is the one thing people don’t want to just own up and admit- Thanksgiving falls between two banger holidays, and it can’t live up to the hype.
Want another example? No problem. We all know “The Monster Mash”, Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s absolute banger about a Halloween party with all of your favorite ghouls. However, did you know that the same dude also made a Christmas song?
Released in 1962, “Monster’s Holiday” features the exact same chord structure as “The Monster Mash” while only slightly changing the premise- here, the monsters are all enjoying their Christmas break. These two songs are basically the same, which is why “Monster’s Holiday” is fucking great. Honestly, I could do a whole essay just on this song, and I just might next month if you’ve been good.
Did Pickett make a Thanksgiving song? Of course he didn’t, because there are no good Thanksgiving songs. Even the one Adam Sandler SNL thing is, at best, slightly amusing when I’m slightly drunk.
This will always be Thanksgiving’s cross to bear: Halloween is scary and cool and Christmas is festive and joyful. Thanksgiving just kind of… is. Besides Planes, Trains, & Automobiles, there is no meaningful art about Turkey Day, because all the good artists are making creepy Halloween stuff or joyous Christmas fare.
There are other reasons Thanksgiving isn’t that hot. Let’s get into it, because it’s all about the 3 “F’s”.
Look, we all love our family. You love yours. I certainly love mine. But sometimes family can be, and let’s be polite about it, a bit much. And this year things are going to be escalated.
Remember how there was an election a little bit ago and Joe Biden won? Want to know who currently, at this moment, thinks he hasn’t won? Like, 60 million people, and can you take a chance that someone who normally sits at your table isn’t going to be one of those people? This is not the year to get into it over turkey and casseroles. No one wants to be the person to explain to their aunt how to pronounce Antifa, or to tell their cousin that they can’t be a Proud Boy.
And while you’re feeling this way about those certain, misguided relatives, remember that they feel the same way about you! Somewhere, there is family hoping that you won’t make the trek to see everyone because they do not want to hear about how Greta Thunberg, who they think is a goddamned Soros-funded terrorist, makes some good points.
We could all use a break. Do it for them. Or do it for you.
By the time the Steelers and Ravens play on Thanksgiving night, you will either be leaving whoever hosted Thanksgiving or cleaning up because you hosted and now everyone is leaving. This is bad, because this is the only game worth watching next Thursday. The other two games just feature four giant piles of garbage.
I’m writing this on Sunday before any of the games finish, so things might slightly change by the time you’re reading this. However, as of this moment, the four other teams playing on Thanksgiving (the Lions, Texans, Cowboys, and Redskins) have a combined record of 9-24. The Lions are the best team of the bunch, and they’re fucking 3-5.
I don’t know why the NFL decided that Detroit and Dallas have to host games on Thanksgiving regardless of how shitty they are, but watching two slogs of games with zero playoff implications does not seem interesting to me.
I know what you’re thinking… you’re thinking I cannot possibly attack the wonderful bounty of food that Thanksgiving provides.
Yeah, I can, because turkey is fucking lame.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s ok on sandwiches, but only when those sandwiches have other things on them, so that kind of tells you all you need to know. And my brother-in-law makes a fun BBQ turkey, but again, that’s really more a testament to BBQ than anything else.
Look, I love the sides. Mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, deviled eggs, vegetables, pie, all of the fixin’s are what makes the meal so amazing. But what does it say that the main course is so bland that it needs kickass sides to lift it up.
We’re all thinking it, let’s all just say it: turkey has got to go. Make a nice ham this year.
So, there you have it. Take a year off. Stay home. Have a zoom call and see everyone. Stay safe. Wear a mask and wash your hands.
And, whatever you decide, have a Happy Thanksgiving… regardless of all the other stuff.