Top 5: Thanksgiving Edition

This is kind of a throwaway piece that I’m not quite sure is going to make it up onto my “Likes” page, but what the hell. There’s no specific rhyme or reason to this, except these are Thanksgiving-related things that I enjoy, and figured I’d share them with you (and maybe get some good SEO with Google along the way, ha).

2012 Thanksgiving Bonus – Extra Week of Holiday Season
So, as we all know, Thanksgiving is the official kickoff to the holiday season, with New Years providing the back-end, and then pick your religious holiday in between. What I really like is Thanksgiving as early as possible and, with the holiday fixed officially on the 4th Thursday of November, the 22nd is the absolute earliest it can be. That gives you an extra week of Christmas decorations and music as well as the good, general feeling of winter before it becomes January and you’re like “I’m tired of this shit, and it’s three months until April.”

5. Planes, Trains and Automobiles
For some reason, Home Alone has become a Thanksgiving tradition. But that’s crap; it’s a kid’s fantasy movie masquerading as a Christmas feature. Planes, Trains and Automobiles is one of the only true Thanksgiving movies out there, and certainly the best. A classic involving the hijinks of Steve Martin (who is oddly better when he’s the straight man) trying to get home to his family, despite the better efforts of his ne’er-do-well travel companion John Candy. Haven’t watched it? Amazon has it on-demand right now. Check it out!

4. Leftovers
If you do Thanksgiving like I do, you generally have enough to feed about 30 people, which leads to some bad-ass leftovers for the next few days. I’ve been making a conscious effort to empty my fridge and freezer this year in advance of the holiday to make room (right now, I have the Britta filter, a little bit of leftovers and condiments). If you freeze the leftovers in consumable portions, you have at least a dozen meals taken care of for the near future, and almost everything Thanksgiving-related freezes well. Way to spread out the awesomness.

3. Football
Even bad football on Thanksgiving was pretty good. Three to four drinks in, and you haven’t eaten a thing because you’re worried about killing your appetite in advance of the impending feast, even the 0-16 Lions were fun to watch. But this year? Redskins-Cowboys, Texans-Lions and Patriots-Jets. The only thing I miss is John Madden with that mutant turkey he used to have every year. Remember that thing? It had like 17 legs and looked like it had been cooked during the Eisenhower administration. But he gave out a leg to each MVP and they all chomped down on them. Maybe they all contracted worms the next day, no idea…but that was a Thanksgiving classic. Phil Simms and his “Iron” award don’t come close.

2. Stuffing
When I am talking about stuffing, I’m not talking about that foam you find in a Stove Top box. I’m talking about legit, full of awesomeness stuffing. I start 10 days before the holiday, making 4 loaves of cheese bread from scratch (and I’m talking real cheese bread; each loaf has 1 1/2 pounds of cheesy goodness within). I then cut up each loaf and leave them to dry out for days, thus becoming bread crumbs. The day before, cook up a bit of sausage, fry up some onions and celery, jam it all together and wet it down with chicken broth. Straight up one of the best things you’ve ever tasted. Screw turkey.

1. Inclusion
Thanksgiving is a truly American holiday. Sure, there’s traditions involving grills and the three summer holidays (Memorial, July 4 & Labor) and there’s some others where you don’t get mail, but none of the other compare with the scope of Thanksgiving (and this word is REALLY looking weird to me now after typing it so many times – I am now Googling it to make sure it’s spelled right. Yep. Spelled right. Looks weird.) Everything shuts down, people get together to eat, hang out and enjoy each other’s company. Or at least that’s what it’s supposed to be. Just good times. Love it.

So eat, drink and be merry. I know I will be. Happy Thanksgiving.