This week, we celebrate a holiday that I consider my favorite. Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for the blessings of good health, with the love of family surrounded by the material things I crave. Hey, I was told that the Republican candidate’s win for presidency would make the country great again. I’m supporting that trend with new living room furniture.
I am hosting and with the help of my cousin, we are preparing a Thanksgiving feast surrounded by traditions and nostalgia. My traditional day will start with watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. It was always a “hope to do one day” item (I refuse to call it a bucket list as I am not kicking any bucket anytime soon) to witness the blowing up of the parade balloons in Central Park. The challenge is I can’t cook a Thanksgiving dinner if I go to a balloon party the night before. The dinner has always won out.
As if the holiday decor hadn’t gone up in the retail stores yet, I look to the movies being played that day to introduce the Christmas season. The “March of the Wooden Soldiers” and “Miracle on 34th Street” are my all time favs. I find the first hilarious and the second just plain heart warming. In addition, there are reruns of Thanksgiving sitcom episodes that use the holiday as a platform of comic relief to the stubborn turkey that won’t cook right or the family member that gets on your nerves. My all time favorite episode was the one from the Bob Newhart Show where he and his buddies are left to cook a turkey during many football games and many glasses of alcohol without female intervention. It results in no turkey and the ordering of Chinese food. Try saying Moo, Goo, Gai, Pan drunk.
There has been years where things have not gone as smooth as pumpkin pie. We once owned a condo-hotel in Vernon and it was my idea to celebrate the holiday there. Aside from not having it there in the first place, things I should have done before carting all my ingredients and pots, was to check the oven’s ability. The traditional way I cook a turkey is to start roasting the bird at a searing temperature of 400 degrees for the first hour. This consistently set off the fire alarm making the hotel staff very unhappy and resulted in them coming to my door with daggered looks warning me (in ever so polite terms) to knock it off. I am still apologizing to my husband and son for spending the first half of that day waving a dishtowel over the smoke detector.
Holiday tradition and nostalgia being paramount, it should be no surprise that my favorite part of the day is the playing of Alice’s Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie. For those of you who do not know it or have never heard it, you are too young to be reading this blog or you grew up isolated from silly hippie songs. It’s a funny story about a naive man who came from the idyllic Norman Rockwell town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts and his experience in 1967 with the draft board. In any case, allow me to present for your listening pleasure a Thanksgiving tradition that can’t be beat.