I’m closing in rapidly on my 60th Thanksgiving. Even after all of these years, nearly half of which have been lived in the Washington area, I’ve still spent far more of them with my brother and sisters than any other alternative. But most of them head families of their own now, and their children have children, so they don’t get together often for Thanksgiving any more.
But there have been others. I spent a few alone, particularly in my early years in the DC area. I’ve spent a number now with my in-laws, who live in Florida, and that always feels like a vacation. I spent a couple Way Back in the Day with families of ex-girlfriends, avoiding the potential land mines that come with that experience. I spent one or two working in a newsroom, because newsrooms don’t shut down. And as a teenager, I once worked Thanksgiving night in a pizza joint — and it got slammed with takeout orders. (If there is one constant in my whole working life, it’s the power of pizza to improve every situation.)
But this was a rare one — I spent it with just my wife. We usually do Christmas by ourselves, but have spent Thanksgiving with just each other only a handful of times. Cooking the feast was fun — a smoked chicken and a number of the usual lifelong Thanksgiving favorites — and we enjoyed the dinner. But we also talked the things for which we are grateful. The list is long, and as we head toward the final holes on the course, that’s good to know. It’s really all you can ask.