Ahh, Thanksgiving. A day for families (minus the males) to gather in the kitchen and prepare, serve, and clean up after a holiday feast, while families (minus the females) gather in the living room to watch football. Oh wait. That topic is for tomorrow.

For today’s topic, we’ll all be thankful. (More)

Happy Thanksgiving, Part I – Thanks for the Past Year

This week Morning Feature will be thankful. Today we say thanks for the past year. Tomorrow we’ll say thanks for surviving another Thanksgiving. Saturday we’ll say thanks for surviving another Day After Thanksgiving, the official start of the Christmas Shopping Season. By Sunday, our jaws will ache from all those thankful smiles. In fact, we’ll be so @%#&! thankful….

But first, a brief history of the holiday.

The First Thanksgiving

Times were hard in 1621. The New England Patriots were a weak team, in part because the patriots for whom they were named had not yet been born. And they had no one to play, because football hadn’t yet been invented. So early Patriots’ fans spent Sundays hearing William Brewster drone on about righteousness, with nary a mention of whether to run a bootleg on second and goal. Bored with Brewster’s sermons, the fans decided to have a tailgate party. Women brought turkeys. The turkeys brought those huge foam #1 fingers. There was also food. And singing. And dancing, until Brewster stood up to protest that it looked too much like … at which point William Bradford dumped a bucket of water on him, for which the others were very thankful.

The seeds of tradition were planted. With a bit of nurturing, a bit of pruning, a bit of tending – aided by a compost of color commentary and TV advertising – those seeds blossomed into the holiday we call Thanksgiving. Some details changed. Clothes aren’t all black and white now. We finally invented football. Teams replaced the water with Gatorade. But mostly we’ve remained faithful to those early traditions.

Foremost among them is watching the food get cold while someone commemorates William Brewster by droning on endlessly with Thanks For The Past Year … until someone else commemorates William Bradford by dumping a bucket of Gatorade over his head, for which the others are very thankful. We’re all about tradition here at BPI. And I hid the Gatorade. So….

Thanks for the Past Year

So much has happened in the past year. Not all of it was good. Some was downright bad, in fact. Worse than bad. Bad is when you wake up hungry in the middle of the night, go downstairs for a slice of cheese, and discover with your toe that someone left a kitchen chair too far from the table. Some of this year was like that, except you stump your toe and then trip and fall into a fish tank full of piranha. Flailing an arm out to catch yourself, you whack the TV remote and on pops Glenn Beck wondering whether shutting down the federal government will boost the price of gold … which is all that saves you because the piranha swim to that side of the tank and say “Wow, I remember when he was little….”

Then you find someone else already ate the last slice of cheese. Some of this year was that bad.

But not all of it.

For example, I didn’t get run over by a turnip truck. This marks my 49th consecutive year of not having been run over by a turnip truck. Don’t get me wrong. I like turnips, but in salads. Not in trucks. Especially not in trucks that are running over me. So there’s that for which to be thankful.

There were other things too. Springoff the Fifth graduated high school with honors and started college. And got her driver’s license. All good stuff for which to be thankful.

Springoffs the Fourth and Fifth are home for Thanksgiving. That’s good stuff for which to be thankful, even if the other Springoffs can’t be here this year.

I joined my local Democratic Party group, where I’ve met some nice people and gotten involved in grassroots politics again. More good stuff for which to be thankful.

And there was the Cuban Incident, which you’ll read about in today’s HEMMED In at 11am (ET). Which reminds me….

Blogistan Polytechnic Institute opened this year. That’s more good stuff for which to be thankful. Thanks to winterbanyan for prodding me to do it. Thanks to JanF for making it doable (and doing most of it).

Most of all, thanks to all of you for being here and sharing your insight, your passion, your wisdom, your wit, and your warmth. All good stuff for which to be thankful.

There’s more, but the food’s getting cold. And I hear the sloshing of Gatorade….

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Happy Thanksgiving!