This is the holiday you get when you drop it through a filter and get only what you need. For me, it's family. I don't get round to seeing them enough so anything that essentially forces me to see them is a plus in my book. Why don't I see them more? Life, distance, choices, money, excuses. Not everyone likes their family, and so while I think of this holiday as a great gathering of family and food, feel free to substitute family with friends, friends who really end up being your family anyway.
Now sure the original tale of Thanksgiving that's taught, well at least in my day, is one rife with fiction, but that doesn't mean that good can't be squeezed out in modern execution. And when I say this, I'm not referencing Black Friday sales. It's a touch disturbing to me to look back and see how these same thoughts came to mind in the past. But there's also nothing wrong with a little consistency. Or a lot. Perhaps even a real whole lot (author's note: this last link contains an embedded image linked from a Lycos-hosted site. How about Lycos for a shout-out to the pre-Google days).
It seems there are plenty of those who dislike the homecoming nature of Thanksgiving and it's understandable. Being around your hometown and all that it entails can manage to be worse and/or more depressing than simply returning to see family and answer a lot of questions, and usually you're looking at all of these together. That I don't go to my hometown may have a softening effect for me. And let's face it, as much as people love to bloviate on the internet (what's that pot? oh hello kettle...), non-digital confrontation with honesty about ourselves is not a lot of fun. Knowing we should get our shit together is a little different than knowing we should get our shit together.
After that brief and cursory treatment of some of the struggles and intricacies of the fragile psyche, I'm going to leave with a link to a cartoonist I had the pleasure of meeting the other night, one Alex Nall. There was a time I read comics far more, from the Sunday offerings, to Calvin & Hobbes and The Far Side compendiums, right on up to your X-Men and so on. Though I've strayed, I'm glad to have been brought back by someone like Alex, to see there are still those holding the torch, that there's still a beautiful honesty accompanied by nice art, and that the fundamental problems and struggles we have are age-old, in spite of shifts in outward appearance.
This all runs the risk of sending me off on a bloviant tangent, but I'll stop here since several sentences back I said I'd leave you. Sometimes I'm bad at goodbye.
At any rate, tally it up as one more thing I'm thankful for.