What I’m Thankful for: 2023 Edition
I know it sometimes may not seem it, but I love people. Sometimes even my family. Sure, they can drive you absolutely nuts at times, perhaps even make you question the basic nature and direction of humanity itself. But that’s the whole thing about family: We love them nonetheless. And in return, they have to love you back, no matter what bat shit crazy antics you may have pulled over the course of a prolonged break-up that may have included multiple awkward reincarnations that never should have happened. Yes, they even put up with the “Staci” (Yes, Staci with an “I”) period. We get to pick our friends, but you are stuck with your family. And that’s why I’m so grateful to spend my Thanksgivings with both.
In fact, Thanksgiving might just be my favourite holiday of the year. That’s because it’s centred around the people we spend it with. And given the morally deranged folks that make up my daily existence, along with the mischief-producing concoction of copious amounts of alcohol mixed with tryptophan, it has been the impetus for many of my fondest memories. I will always think back warmly on the memories of my Uncle Jimmy cradling a White Russian in one hand and a cigarette in the other, looking like some sort of 1970’s degenerate version of the Dude, while lecturing us on the virtues of Carlos Santana. I remember my Aunt loosing her shit after discovering that my cousin and I had turned over numerous letters to make them blanks during our game of Dirty Word Scrabble where players are awarded double points for words that would be bleeped on television. And of course, there was the time Jimmy outed us in front of everyone for entering the house reeking of weed after an early morning on the ski slopes, only to have my grandmother proclaim “I tried that stuff once and all it did was put me to sleep” before promptly walking out of the room.
And so while I’ve been writing this annual send-up of What I’m Grateful For for nine years now, what I am truly grateful for is all of the folks that taught me to laugh at life in the first place. This list goes out to all of you. You know who you are, even if you deny it:
I am grateful to the four prosecutors who have filed criminal charges against Donald Trump. After all, what else would we all have to argue about this Thanksgiving if not for that?
I am grateful to own my own home in Summit County, Colorado. ‘Cause if I didn’t already, there’s no way in hell I could afford one now.
I am grateful for my Auto-correct spellchecker. I cannot imagine how many times it has kept me from sending an email where I used the word duck.
I am grateful to live in a country where a young black man raised in poverty in Savannah, Georgia can grow up to become a Supreme Court Justice and then parlay that into an auspicious opportunity to suckle off the teet of the Uber-wealthy, only to turn his back on those now enduring the same.
I am grateful that American democracy still exists. Seriously, after the last couple of years, that shit was genuinely in question there for awhile, so better appreciate it while you have it.
I am grateful that my daughter, now fourteen, still has shown no signs of wanting to date. Until she does, I can keep the shotgun safely tucked away in the storage cabinet.
I am grateful that my neighbor has yet to put his Christmas lights up. Oops, wait…there he goes now…
I am grateful for the time change back to Standard Time, said no one ever.
I am grateful that the value of Twitter or X or whatever the hell you want to call is down 57% since Elon Musk bought it. I believe it was PT Barnum who famously suggested that “A fool and his money are soon parted.”
I am grateful that Tom Cruise is experiencing a career resurgence with the overwhelming success of his recent Top Gun and Mission Impossible films. Us short guys over 50 have to stick together.
I am grateful for the invention of the spoon. Not only do I have a disturbing ineptitude when it comes to the use of chopsticks, spoons might be the only thing that can get Brittney Spears to stop dancing with knives.
And finally, I am grateful to take next Thursday off for Thanksgiving so that I can hide from my family in my office with a bottle of Scotch.
Steven Craig is the author of the best-selling novel WAITING FOR TODAY, as well as numerous published poems, short stories, and dramatic works. Read his blog TRUTH: In 1000 Words or Less every THURSDAY at www.waitingfortoday.com