"Happy Thabsgibing Back"

Without a doubt, Thanksgiving is the best holiday ever. The smells, the weather, the food, the being with family….I loved waking up and knowing it was crisp outside and then following the smells of Thanksgiving morning down the stairs to see what awaited me there. In my house in New Jersey growing up, I always smelled my dad's coffee brewing, the turkey beginning to bake, and the distant hum of the TV as the pre-broadcast of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was beginning (a must-see for all in the metro NYC area!). My dad would pick up my grandfather in the city of Bayonne and bring him back to the house, where my "Poppy" would declare as soon as he walked in the door, "WHERE’S MY BRUCK-FUST." Poppy always wore a 3-piece suit with cufflinks for his trip out to the “country” as he called our suburban town of Madison, since he had lived his entire life in the inner-city. This was a special event for him! So as Poppy entered in his formal duds, the rest of us were still standing there in our pajamas, and my mom in her fluffy deep purple floor-length robe. Using both of his pointer fingers to show me just how tall he wanted the glass to be, Poppy would then ensure that I was planning to include a “tallllll glass of orange juice” with his meal. Funny enough, throughout the years the requested orange juice size grew in height from a coffee mug to a Pilsner ☺.

My dad would bring home an authentic New York Crumb Cake from the local bakery, and we’d all groan as my mom ate off all the crumbs. I loved it when the cooking preparation began, as mom, still in her robe, would prepare the turkey. There were the typical “blechs” and “ewws” when she took the giblets out of the poor little bird’s insides, cooked them, and fed them to the dog. I don’t think I ever touched raw turkey giblets until I was 26 for that reason alone. I would, however, joyfully help my mom by cutting up the onions and carrots for the turkey’s brown-in bag. After everything started cooking, we’d get showered and into our casual clothes and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade with Poppy. My grandfather was a cosmetician for The Rockettes back in the day, so he would look forward to the moment when “his girls” did their number in front of Macy’s – the highlight of the parade. How on earth did all of their legs kick at the exact same height anyway? To this day, I still don’t get it. And how about the Garfield float? He was looking for lasagna, but all anyone had to offer the poor guy was a big browned bird.

At this time of year, I also love movies that feature Thanksgiving. You've Got Mail is such a classic (but who am I kiddin', I could watch that movie on a sweltering summer day, I love it so much). Who can forget a troubled and distracted Kathleen Kelly getting into the "cash only" line on Thanksgiving morning with no cash in her wallet. Behind her in line, a customer named Henry begins to get agitated, ("And I'm HAYN-ry!") and cashier Rose won't crack a smile ("Get-in-anotha-line."). Thankfully, Joe Fox comes to the rescue with some comic relief, Rose cracks a smile and even answers his holiday greeting with a “Happy Thabsgibing back” in broken English. Sadly for Kathleen, Rose hasn't forgiven her for stepping in the wrong line and scowls at her as she zip-zips the card through the credit card machine. And it's finally Hayn-ry's turn in line...