Kay: Giving Thanks

turkeybuttonfinalThanksgiving is America’s unique holiday—the holiday that makes us all American, according to a unique writer, O. Henry. I’ve assembled a few stories, thoughts, and jokes about our most unique holiday, in the hope that you’ll find something that resonates with you. Happy Thanksgiving!

If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share. —W. Clement Stone, businessman and philanthropist

Proper turkey preparation is critical. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more Americans die every year from eating improperly cooked turkey than were killed in the entire Peloponnesian War. This is because turkey can contain salmonella—tiny bacteria that, if they get in your bloodstream, develop into full-grown salmon, which could come leaping out of your mouth during an important business presentation. —Dave Barry, writer

On the morning of Thanksgiving, I would wake up to the home smelling of all good things, wafting upstairs to my room. I would set the table with the fancy silverware and china and hope that my parents and grandmother wouldn’t have the annual Thanksgiving fight about Richard Nixon. —Debi Mazar, actor

On Thanksgiving Day we acknowledge our dependence. —William Jennings Bryan, politician

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never have enough. —Oprah Winfrey, entertainer

I always think it’s funny when Indians celebrate Thanksgiving. I mean, sure, the Indians and Pilgrims were best friends during the first Thanksgiving, but a few years later, the Pilgrims were shooting Indians. So I’m never quite sure why we eat turkey like everybody else.” —Sherman Alexie, writer

Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often. —Johnny Carson, entertainer

Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way. —Native American saying

Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence. —Erma Bombeck, journalist

My restaurants are never opened on Thanksgiving; I want my staff to spend time with their family if they can. My feeling is, if I can’t figure out how to make money the rest of the year so that my workers can enjoy the holidays, then I don’t deserve to be an owner. —Michael Symon, chef

My cooking is so bad my kids thought Thanksgiving was to commemorate Pearl Harbor. —Phyllis Diller, comedian

I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land. —Jon Stewart, entertainer

It’s a bit of a sore spot, the Thanksgiving in Indian country. —Robbie Robertson, musician

Thanksgiving. It’s like we didn’t even try to come up with a tradition. The tradition is, we overeat. ‘Hey, how about at Thanksgiving we just eat a lot?’ ‘But we do that every day!’ ‘Oh. What if we eat a lot with people that annoy the hell out of us?'” —Jim Gaffigan, comedian

My mother won’t celebrate Thanksgiving. She says it represents the white man stealing our land. But she’s not angry. She figures, what the hell, we’re taking it back one casino at a time. —Larry Omaha, comedian


12 thoughts on “Kay: Giving Thanks

    • Dave would never steer you wrong about turkey prep! Also, that Eddie Izzard clip is hilarious. I can just see the Puritans doing that.

  1. Happy Thanksgiving to all the Eight Ladies and to our followers.

    The quote by Erma Bombeck definitely rings true. Cooking and cleaning and gathering together for Thanksgiving takes hours and the actual eating is over in short-order.

    Left-overs are one of my favorite parts of the holiday. Cook once and eat all week – that’s a holiday I can get behind.

    • I love the leftovers, too. The eating holidays, where all one has to do is show up, have some turkey (okay, and watch football) are the best.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving, Ladies! Chez Jilly there will be an early dinner of slow-cooked lamb and a nice bottle of red wine, and then we will be settling down for a bumper bonus night of (American) football. Yay!

  3. Thanks for the early morning smile, Kay!

    This year, I volounteered to cook for my daughter and her small family. She opened a restaurant about a year ago and she was thrilled at the idea of a day off. Two days ago, I discovered that small gathering had grown to 30 people There’s a reason why she has a job where she’s constantly surrounded by hungry people…..

    Happy Thanksgiving, Ladies!

  4. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone celebrating! (I’m at work and just doing my VAT return (which is sales tax here in the UK)!)

    • Thank you, Rachel! I guess in your case in the UK, perhaps the Exchequer is thankful you’re doing your VAT return. The turkeys!

  5. Thank you Kay, this was an AWESOME way to start Thanksgiving Day!! I especially loved this one:
    “Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way.” —Native American saying
    What a great way of looking at life.

    Did you know that the US is not the only country to celebrate Thanksgiving? When we lived in L.A. we always celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving in October at a huge potluck with our many Canadian friends instead of doing American Thanksgiving. Then the next day we’d do the Canadian Turkey Sandwich thing: Toasted sandwich with turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce. Growing up in the midwest I’d never had this kind of sandwich, but it quickly became a favorite! Useless factoid: in the 80’s and 90’s Los Angeles had the fourth largest Canadian population of any city in North America.

    OK, better get that turkey stuffed! Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

  6. Happy Thanksgiving to you, Jennifer! And I’m glad you enjoyed the post. That Native American saying was my favorite, too. Plus–a new sandwich idea! Definitely trying that tomorrow. So now I can also be thankful to the Canadians and their clever way of using up leftovers. 🙂

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