Imagine if every moment in life was like the painfully awkward few minutes when a family member is giving the pre-Thanksgiving meal toast?

We all have a lot to be thankful for.

Obviously it goes without saying. We all know that. And the fact that people travel across state lines — even across the country — to be with their families on this holiday, shows that they fully understand the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

There’s not many people in the nation who don’t at least feel a little bit more appreciative of life today. If you were to check your Happy ThanksgivingFacebook News Feed right now, you’d probably see an abundance of paragraph-long Facebook statuses expressing such. You’ll try to get through the first sentence of the one closest to the top, but you’ll cringe, stop, and not read anymore.

And that’s why people love Thanksgiving. Everybody is wonderful. We’re all nice to each other. And people finally, finally, take a step back to pause and acknowledge the gifts they’ve been given in their life.

I think one of the reasons why we’re so thankful and grateful on Thanksgiving, is because we’re so ungrateful during the other 364 days of the year. During other days, we don’t make the extra effort to see our loved ones, and we don’t take a few minutes to reflect on our lives and all the good that exists in it.

It’s not an indictment on the American people. Rather, it’s a commentary on how rough life is. We have a lot to worry about on a day-to-basis: our jobs, living situation, relationships with friends and significant others, our health, etc. Some of us actually don’t have the time to sit in a chair and think for few minutes of how grateful we are.

I repeat myself — that’s why people love Thanksgiving. It gives us a full 24 hours to do just that. It’s a cleansing holiday, in a way. By spending the majority of our day with relatives, we convince ourselves that it excuses us from how rarely we see them otherwise.

As a bonus, we get to eat a lot, too. So while we may have a lot on our plate metaphorically on most days, on Thanksgiving, we have a lot on our plate, literally.

And that’s why people drive hundreds of miles, catch a train, or hop on a plane to see family today.

But isn’t it enough to simply be with each other, knowing how far you came? Shouldn’t that act, that gesture, suffice in expressing the importance of family? Shouldn’t our presence in the same room on the most sacred of “family holidays” signify our gratefulness?

Apparently it does not. And that’s why, each year, somebody — an uncle, one of your parents, a grandma — will delay everyone from eating for several minutes, and awkwardly explain why they are so grateful.

There may be no more painful minutes in life than this. You’re starving, tired from traveling, and have already done more talking than you needed to, and yet, somebody has to raise their glass and say the things that are so blatantly obvious.

It usually goes something like:

“Well, it’s another year … and um, you know, I’m just happy we’re all together. Family is really important, and, uh, I love you all … and [insert stupid joke here], and [borderline-inappropriate drunk comment], and … that’s what, you know … I’m grateful for. Cheers.”

And somehow, some way, those two or three sentences defy the laws of time, and last 20 minutes.

Have you ever been with your friends, and one of them tries to tell a joke that is so painfully unfunny that not a single person laughs? And then there’s that awkward few seconds of silence where no one knows what to say? That’s what that moment around the dinner table feels like. Multipled by 100.

And I know that giving a toast or a speech is meant to be a symbolic, tangible gesture of gratefulness, but think about it — when you’re out on a date on Valentine’s Day, do you stop in the middle of the dinner and tell him or her, “Hey, I just wanted to say, that, uhh, I’m really glad you’re here with me on Valentine’s Day. Because it means your my Valentine. And I like you. Cheers.”

The fact that you actively chose to be with one another on Valentine’s Day should be enough of an indication of those things. It doesn’t need to be said. And the same thing applies for the awkward, unnecessary, pre-Thanksgiving meal toast.

This year, say no to the toast.

Happy Thanksgiving!

The creation of the word “Thanksgivukkah” automatically makes this the worst holiday season of my lifetime

This year, as most Jews have likely been long aware of, Thanksgiving happens to coincide with Hanukkah.

The holiday of excessive turkey eating falls late this year, on Nov. 28. Hanukkah, meanwhile, starts earlier than usual, on Wednesday. Therefore, come Thursday, two major holidays will happen concurrently.

Since both holidays encompass similar themes, like thankfulness, rededication and family, it isn’t really that big of a deal, and it shouldn’t form a major inconvenience to any plans. If anything, it’s beneficial because it means Jewish families only have to visit each other one time this holiday season. You save gas money, you avoid the inevitable awkwardness that comes with seeing your cousins, uncles and aunts twice in a few weeks, and you’re essentially killing two birds with one stone with one gathering around the dinner table.

You watch football, spin a dreidel, drink some wine, and bam, you’re done.

So that’s that. No more fuss needs to be made about it. I can’t imagine there are many people out there who are irate that these two holidays are together this year.

Except me.

And no, I couldn’t care less about the religious significance, but rather, I’m angry because the fusion of these two holidays has led to a new nickname. It was only a matter of time before some idiot put two and two together, and as a result, we have now all been exposed to the word, “Thanksgivukkah.”

There’s no going back at this point. There’s some things that can’t be unheard. This is one of them.

I understand that this is not without precedent. Years ago, somebody had the brilliant idea to combine Christmas and Hanukkah to form “Christmakkuh,” and the word has since become popular in interfaith households. But at least that makes a little sense. The holidays are closely intertwined, they’re more commonly celebrated during the same time period, and both involve the exchanging of gifts. In fact, these holidays — though unique to their respective religion — are pretty much associated together when people discuss the December “holiday season.”

Thanksgiving and Hanukkah overlapping, on the other hand, is basically like a solar eclipse. Actually, it may even be rarer. According to Chabad, an Orthodox Judaism worldwide movement, the last time the two holidays coincided was in 1899, and the next time it will happen will be in 2070.

But let’s give a nickname to something that may only happen once in our lifetimes.

I really can’t think of a less pleasing sound than the word “Thanksgivukah.” Even typing it is a nightmare. It’s too forced, and it shows that people are just trying way too hard.

The holidays should bring about natural fervor. We should become excited to get extra days off from work, to see our distant relatives, to pig out on food, watch football and receive gifts. If that doesn’t stir excitement in you, then you probably have some type of endorphin deficiency.

A quirky nickname is not needed to encapsulate it. And yes, before  you ask — which you won’t — I am excited. I am greatly anticipating this Thursday. I will be happy. But that doesn’t mean all of the annoying things in this world will suddenly evaporate, and Thankgivukkah is among those.

Oh well. I might as well beat everyone to the punch and create a nickname to incorporate all holidays.

Happy Valenteasterpendenceovermemorialgivingchristmakwanzakkuh everyone!

Oh so this is when everybody starts talking about how much they love Thanksgiving

Before I begin, I need to acknowledge the continued success of one, Taylor Swift. I wrote last night that she had just won the female country vocalist of the year, but, after I published that blog, and as the night progressed, Taylor went on to win two more awards, including country album of the year, and the big one, artist of the year.

These awards are voted on by the fans, and last year, Justin Bieber won the artist of the year, so obviously, that alone tells you that this isn’t the end-all be-all as far as awards go. However, as it is fan-voted, it shows how many people in this world Taylor Swift has connected with, and how adored she is by her fans, to continually win these awards.

Say what you want about her, but she hasn’t had one blemish on her career thus far, and really is a great role model for young girls and aspiring musicians.

Also, I heard a lot of complaining on Twitter last night about how annoyed people were becoming with Taylor’s “fake shock” face. While it certainly appeared quite a few times last night, people need to realize that she is not faking anything, and that she truly is humble and appreciative of all of her fans. Sure, she sells millions of records and wins awards, but she knows her place, and that place is just a girl playing a guitar and singing about things she knows. She doesn’t think she’s better than anybody, and that’s why it comes as such a shock to her to be bestowed with such prestigious awards. So, back the shit off, haters.

Whereas if I were to win an award, like Blogger of the Year, I would walk up to that stage with smug arrogance and act like I was better than everybody. I wouldn’t even thank my fans either, because they are nothing compared to me. Nothing.

So anyway, now that the air is cleared, let’s move on.

Just like any other Monday, everybody returned to work today. Naturally, on this day, you’re always a degree sleepier, a degree crankier, and a degree more miserable than usual. However, not on this Monday.

Because of Thanksgiving, the entire nation has a four-day week, with many even having a three-day week. Thus, this Monday was a lot more tolerable than most.

Naturally, when you talked to your friends and coworkers today, the subject will have drifted towards Thanksgiving. And naturally, you probably heard these words:

“Man, I love Thanksgiving. So much food, football, we get the day off from work, and it’s my favorite holiday of the year!”

Well guess what? We all know that already. Thanksgiving is an annual holiday that occurs every year, and nothing about it ever changes. There is turkey, football, wine, family and for some reason, the chopped liver that your grandmother always brings over. All the good things you experience, we get to experience too. Every year.

It’s not like football is only televised in your household. I see the same games you do, buddy.

I’m waiting to hear somebody tell me something completely original about how their family celebrates Thanksgiving. Something like:

“Man, I love Thanksgiving. Every year, me and family wake up at the crack of dawn and go scuba diving in shark infested water, without scuba gear. Then we go to the zoo and throw bread crumbs to the zebras, and then we travel back home by means of a potato sack race. It’s my favorite holiday!”

Then you will have my attention.

There’s really nothing to not love about Thanksgiving. There’s the aforementioned obscene amounts of food, an overdose of football, you see the cousins you have that you actually like, and then you relax for the rest of the night and watch television. In addition, you had the day off to sleep late, and consequently, you were able to go out with friends the night before and get loaded.

It’s pretty much how you wish every day could be. So saying that you like Thanksgiving is like saying that you enjoy receiving blowjobs. No. Shit.

I’m certainly not trying to be a downer, and I don’t mean to rain on anybody’s parade, but let’s try to just go one year without boring my ears off about how much you enjoy Thanksgiving. Sound good?

Also, Thanksgiving is the time when you are supposed to take time and think about what you are grateful for. What am I thankful for, you ask? Hmm, I’m grateful for my dashing good looks, my sharp wit and jovial personality, and, alright, fine, I’m grateful for the people who take a few minutes to read this blog. Just like how Taylor Swift is grateful for all of her fans.

*Shocked face*

Happy Thanksgiving!


Want to keep this short and sweet…

Happy Thanksgiving!! I am extremely thankful to all those that take a minute or two out of their day and actually read what I have to say. If you’ve stuck with me since the beginning, well, then… may have God have mercy on  your soul.

If you’ve only become a recent follower, then, welcome! Glad to have you on board and I hope you stay for a while.

And if you just happened to stumble upon this blog accidentally and have no intention to come back, then go fuck yourself!

Have a great day everyone… eat a lot, watch some football, and try to tolerate sitting at a dinner table with your entire family. Don’t worry about how much you’re going to eat today, just hit the gym on Monday.

Oh and tryptophan doesn’t make you sleepy; that’s a myth. So when the inevitable family member makes a remark about that, kindly tell he or she that is has absolutely nothing to do with the turkey, and that the combination of traveling, eating and drinking wine is what is actually causing the drowsiness. Let them know what’s UP.

Gobble gobble!