by Charles A. Monagan
Nov 20, 2012
11:31 AM
On Connecticut

Thanksgiving Is Just Better


As the years go by, Thanksgiving Day has come to occupy an increasingly large place in my heart, and in the hearts of many people I know. There is something about the simplicity of the holiday, and the purity of its message, that seems—miraculously—to have prevented it from being spoiled (although retailers have renewed their attacks again this year). Perhaps Thanksgiving's focus on humility and gratitude, and on family and loved ones, has kept the forces of crassness and commercialism at bay. Whatever the reason, that alone should be high on the list of things for which we ought to be thankful.

Speaking of lists, some years ago, a Washington Post sports columnist named Thomas Boswell wrote a book called 99 Reasons Why Baseball is Better than Football. In it, he pithily listed all the obvious reasons—and many of the obscure ones—why baseball is superior to its gridiron counterpart. While I don't have a list quite that long, I do wish to show the reasons why Thanksgiving is a holiday superior to all others. Call it a starter list. Please feel free to add to it as you see fit.

—Grocery stores don't play Thanksgiving music for three months leading up to the holiday in hopes of getting you to buy a bigger turkey and more cranberry sauce.

—There is no Thanksgiving music.

—There is no gaudy, overbearing, make-believe Thanksgiving character who lives with elves and knows when you've been naughty.

—People don't spend thousands of dollars to erect elaborate front-yard or rooftop Thanksgiving dioramas featuring Pilgrims and Native Americans.

—The meal is usually pretty straightforward. More turkey and potatoes, please.

—It's a long weekend, every time.

—It doesn't matter what the weather is like.

—No one minds turning off the TV to go eat while the Lions are playing.

—There are no Thanksgiving office parties.

—There are no annoying toys to assemble.

—Nothing happens at midnight (unless you are an idiot shopper). You can go to sleep early if you want.

—Squanto and Thomas Bradford are not caricatured to sell new or used cars.

—Egg nog is not served. Nor are green bagels.

—There are no Thanksgiving "novelty hits" by Alvin and the Chipmunks or Burl Ives that get played over and over again.

—There are no tiresome Thanksgiving movies that get played hour after hour in cable-television marathons.

—There are real hugs, not awkward misteltoe kisses.

—Thanksgiving is for everyone.

Thanksgiving Is Just Better

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