Ah, Thanksgiving. What was once just another excuse to get money from grandma and stay home from school has, in these troubled times, morphed into a reassurance of our national worth, a reminder of the importance of family, and, um, okay it's also totally a chance to hit up your extended family for money and leftovers and Hanukkah presents. In case the catastrophic global economic meltdown has left you feeling less than grateful for the world today, here are a few things to be thankful for while you sit around the table finally talking to those cousins you've been meaning to call for months but never got around to.
1) Be thankful for all the food! See, in between bailing out Wall Street and giving jet-engine-fuel money to auto executives, the federal government has been forced to cut back on needless expenses like, oh, food for the poor. So even though your Aunt Sheila's spinach stuffing looks kind of gross and you're a hardline vegetarian and thus cannot enjoy most of what's on the table anyway, eat what you can and remember that there are plenty of people--a lot more today than there probably were this time last year--who won't be enjoying such a feast.
2) Be thankful for the time off! You know how in Japan and other Asian countries the kids are all super-smart but also have learned your entire high school curriculum by the third grade and also know how to program supercomputers to destroy your naive, piggish, Western ideals? As it turns out, those kids are really lonely. Because while it's great to know how to write html code while listing all the elements of the periodic table in alphabetical order, one mustn't forget the value of "the comprehensive development of students as humans." In other words, try not to stress too much about finals and instead enjoy the break.
3) Be thankful that your parents aren't crazy! Some California parents take offense to their children dressing up as pilgrims and Indians, since the generations of children of have previously done this in school now clearly think the Pilgrims were benevolent teachers who put Native Americans in their place. Seriously! The PC police ought to take the day off as well. In the meantime, at least pretend to pay attention to your casually racist grandfather's lecture on how the Indians were just asking to be conquered and how white people steered this country in the right direction. Remind yourself that it's actually kind of healthy to live in a home with a sense of humor and an appreciation for culinarily fulfilling yet ultimately unnecessary and historically inaccurate traditions. Gobble gobble!
4) Finally, be thankful that you're getting out of the city for a few days (I hope.) I love this town, but there's only so much a person can take before they need things like multiple bathrooms and front lawns and Wawas and designated drivers. Okay, maybe not so much the last one, but you get the idea.