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Day 110: The Thanksgiving Plan

November 25, 2010

It took a while for Melissa’s family to finalize plans for Thanksgiving because of her work schedule (she’s working today). What resulted might ended up being the most obvious way to successfully last the day without any interference: dinner out.

Here’s the Thanksgiving schedule:

9am – Fire up the television and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.

I’m partially embarrassed to admit this, but I’m a 28-year-old man who still makes sure to wake up in time for the Parade. Even worse, since I moved to California, I’ve been just as excited to watch the tape delay. I guess I could fall back on the logic that I’m “practicing” for Hollie, but who am I kidding? It’s one of those things that will always have a direct connection to my childhood. It’s why I still make Rudolph/Frosty/Year Without A Santa Claus appointment television every year, or make a Lenten sacrifice even though my only visits to a church in the last decade have been weddings or tourist curiosity. It’s something I did as a kid growing up in New York and helps connect with my heritage.

So, I’m a grown man who gets excited for Thanksgiving parades. What are YOU gonna do about it?!?!

12pm – Parade concludes as Santa rolls through Herald Square.

It seems like a strange marker of time for folks here in California, but I firmly subscribe to the philosophy that the Christmas season can’t officially begin until the Big Man makes his appearance to close the parade. We’re not talkin’ your run-of-the-mill, mall workin’, fake beardin’, baby traumatizin’ Santa’s helper. The Macy’s Santa = the REAL DEAL. Christmas doesn’t begin until HE decides it does. Side note: I caught one of my students writing a letter to Santa during a math lesson. I held it up and admonished her not for being off-task but for not being patient enough to let Santa rest before Thanksgiving. True story.

2pm – Depart for Thanksgiving dinner at…Hodel’s Country Buffet.

I’ve had Thanksgiving dinners in unique settings prior to my move to California. There was the first non-homemade dinner at Staten Island’s Golden Dove diner. In college, it was a competitive meal on the road as I joined the Northeastern Huskies men’s hockey team during a holiday swing in New York’s North Country of Potsdam and Canton, just one banquet room over from conference rival Providence College (This was where I had first heard the term “shoe bombing” used outside of the media realm of terrorism: explanation due another day). There was the inevitable Thanksgiving alone in Boston where I successfully trained my bird-cooking skills on a duck instead of a turkey.

Melissa’s family usually meets for Thanksgiving dinner at the Country Buffet. It’s a pretty wild scene: a large room with rows and rows of tables full of families too exhausted or too incapable of preparing their own holiday feasts. The food is actually pretty good, but it’s a little strange sharing the meal with about 200-300 strangers. The benefit of the meal this year: no TVs on location. No TVs = No football.
The meal will be done by 3:30pm-4pm at which point Melissa returns to work and I return home, filling my time as I normally would with the exception of CBS or FOX.

A strict adherence to the plan and I’ll have successfully navigated through the first big football holiday of the year. I’ll try to keep running updates of any encounters that may spring up today.

Happy Thanksgiving!


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