When it comes to mixed blessings, it’s going to be pretty much impossible to surpass Thanksgiving 2020. Our annual celebration of American excess is being disrupted for most of us this year, bringing a ton of disappointment and a surprisingly large number of benefits.
The disruptions are obvious, of course. There’s nothing better than a holiday that allows…no, demands that we eat nonstop from roughly noon until the last dishes are done. Our hearts are warmed by the family traditions, whether it’s Aunt Mildred’s stuffing recipe or the grandkids circling all the presents they want in the “toy mazagines.” Old jokes, platters used only once a year, placing bets on which old fart will fall asleep first on the living room couch…really, there’s no place like home for the holidays.
The upside is not quite as obvious, but that’s because we keep thinking about Thanksgiving like we’re living in a Normal Rockwell painting. We’re not.
The fact is, nobody has ever liked Aunt Mildred’s stuffing. It tastes like fish guts wrapped in a bicycle tire and she always insists on giving everyone a second helping. We only pretend to like it because she’s loaded and we wanted to inherit something when she kicks it, but now she’s moving in with her yoga instructor and there’s no point to this charade any more.
Meanwhile, Cousin Marley whines every year about failing to buy Google at $92, Auntie Kim complains nonstop about her ex, and there’s no escaping the incredible genius of Randy, who isn’t even a relative but somehow shows up every year anyway. And when dad and the uncles fall asleep on the couch, the sound of snoring isn’t the only thing emanating from their stupors.
In 2020, though, there's no family to get in the way of the perfect holiday. We can start eating and drinking as soon as we wake up, because it’s noon o’clock somewhere, and we can stuff ourselves with pizza or egg rolls or enchiladas or anything else we crave. We don’t have to deal with Aunt Mildred’s stuffing or Kim or Marley or Randy or all those smells emanating from the coma couch. If some chirpy cousin insists on doing a Zoom call, we can just put up a photo of a turkey as our background and hit mute while we search for any leftover Halloween candy in the back of the pantry.
Best of all, now we have time to come up with the perfect Thanksgiving music and maybe win the Nobel Peace Prize along the way. Seriously, someone needs to save us from eight weeks of figgy pudding and DUI reindeer.
Contrary to all common sense, Christmas music started up right after the election, or maybe it was already on the air by then and being drowned out by all those good-will-to-all ads that the candidates were running. Either way, it’s just too soon, and the only way to stop it is to insert Thanksgiving music in between. Assuming we had any Thanksgiving music, of course.
This year, with all the time we'll be saving by not having to entertain Marley and Kim and Randy, we can finally get around to creating the great songs that this all-American holiday deserves. It's hard to believe we've gone this long without Thanksgiving jingles and carols and noels, since the rhyme schemes are so obvious.
Turkey rhymes with murky, perky, quirky, and even herky jerky. Yams and hams are a natural, as are pies and thighs, slurps and burps, and giblets/niblets. We can even do a song about turkey gobbles and family squabbles, stressing over dressing, and Uncle Roy on the Lazy Boy.
There are only two types of people in this universe: poor benighted souls who want all Christmas music all the time and the sane people who would outlaw any Christmas music until there is actual snow on the ground and we can all see our breath. Sorry, but it’s not Christmas yet when Starbucks is still hawking their pumpkin spice latte and George Washington is trying to sell me a mattress.
That's why we're calling on all the unemployed songwriters in America (see: all the songwriters in America) to make the magic happen. There won’t be any bump for the economy as everyone downloads the tunes for free, but we’ll have a brief truce in the war over how much Christmas music is too much…and too soon. Did I mention the Nobel Peace Prize? Why, yes, yes I did.
Have a great Thanksgiving. We can't wait to hear the song about Aunt Mildred's stuffing.
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Dadwrites oozes from the warped mind of Michael Rosenbaum, an award-winning author who spends most of his time these days as a start-up business mentor, book coach, photographer and, mostly, a grandfather. All views are his alone, largely due to the fact that he can’t find anyone who agrees with him.