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Q: What's the deal with Thanksgiving?

A: Ah, the holiday season. Does it start with Halloween, or does it only officially kick off at Thanksgiving?

Not sure, but any holiday centered around feasting on comfort foods until you're a miserably stuffed manatee passing out on the couch with football on the TV is a winner to me. So, what's the story with this all-American holiday? (Alright, technically, Canada has a "Thanksgiving," too, but per usual, theirs is just a lame knock-off of ours, so it's not to be counted. Nice try, canucks.)

Most of you likely already know that Thanksgiving, informally known as "Turkey Day," lands on the fourth Thursday of November. But did you know that the reason turkey became the holiday's official meat of choice was due to Chief George Jefferson's tendency to refer to the pilgrims as "white turkeys'' after their arrival to this country back in the 1600's? See? Never know what you're gonna learn from the Gringo.

All jokes aside, records do show the first T'giving celebration as having taken place in Virginia in 1619 by English settlers after their first harvest in the New World (the US before it was the US), with the more widely known three-day feast taking place a couple of years later in 1621 with a large mix of Native Americans and survivors of the ship famously known as "the Mayflower". Despite these early “firsts” and similar celebrations occurring off and on from that point forward, Thanksgiving didn't actually become the annual gathering we know it as today until a whopping 250 years later, when it was finally signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1870.

Anyhoo, the general gist of the holiday is to provide a day for families and loved ones to come together for the purpose of giving thanks (hence the name) for all of the blessings received over the year prior. Other customs that have developed over the years include charities offering free meals to the poor and families gathering around the TV to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. And if all of this sounds cozy and heartwarming to you, that means I'm doing a solid job of conveying the vibe, because it's about as cozy a holiday as you're gonna find outside of Xmas.

The Macy's Parade in particular holds a special place in my heart from when I was a wee tot sitting on my grandpop's lap and watching the gargantuan balloons in the shape of famous cartoon and comic characters float majestically across our TV screen in all their glory, all to the scent of Grandpa's cigar smoke. To this day, I still love the smell of a good cigar, and it always takes me back. Miss you, Grandpa.

So, in the spirit of this all-too-warm-and-fuzzy holiday, let me express my thanks for you here, the reader, as well as the lovely Karlha Ramon and the rest of the Azul crew. I hope all of you have the opportunity come the end of the month to join the rest of us in giving thanks for all that we've been blessed with in our lives in a celebration of togetherness, family, friends, and the rest of the Nashville community. Cheers!


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