Thanksgiving is easily the best holiday in the world. Not only is it uniquely American, but it involves enormous portions of delicious food along with football and siestas. Who can argue with a day like that?
The day starts off with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the morning, but only if you decide to wake up to watch it. Or, if you choose, you can sleep until the afternoon, like me. Either way, the day starts off stress free and relaxing.
Once the parade is over with and everyone is awake, it is football time. NFL tradition has the Detroit Lions and Dallas Cowboys play every Thanksgiving so each year you know you'll see these teams play on the last Thursday of each November. Their opponents change every year, but the important thing is that football is being played on an American holiday.
After football, or sometimes during (depending on when you eat), you sit down for a delicious feast involving mashed potatoes, gravy, string bean casserole, peas, corn, stuffing and countless other delectable foods. And I haven't even mentioned the best part yet. If you are a vegetarian or some kind of weird turkey lover, then maybe turkey is not your favorite part of the day, but for the remaining 99 percent of society who are normal, we like our turkey on Thanksgiving. Turkey is to Thanksgiving what Dave Matthews is to the Dave Matthews Band, and they both rule.
Besides these glaringly obvious events of turkey day, there is an overarching theme that often goes unnoticed on Thanksgiving. What are we thankful for? I'm sure we've all been there when our favorite aunt or uncle whom we haven't seen for at least a year ask us the fun question of what we are thankful for, and the answers are always as painful and awkward as the question was pathetic. I'm thankful for this food in front of me and my friends and family blah blah blah. Spare me.
What we should all be thankful for, above the corny and mundane, is that we are Americans. And if you are not an American but you live in this country, be thankful that you are here. If there is any holiday where we should remember this it is on Thanksgiving.
When you live in a country that has been led since the turn of the millennia by an administration that is incompetent at best and you are still easily the best country in the world, you know you have it made. Now that is something to be thankful for.
When people like myself moan and groan about our president's never-ending and relentlessly stupid decisions and policies, it is because we hate to see the greatest country in the world mishandled and misled. But even after all of the Bush administration's mishaps, our country still remains stronger than any other in the world.
So as you fire up the leftovers from the feast you had last Thursday, remember what you are truly thankful for. Next time your aunt Gladys asks you what Thanksgiving means to you, leave out how you're thankful for the Coors Light twins and "Sex in the City," even though you are. There are people around the world who face genocide, dictatorship, war, famine and many other hell-like environments that are unfathomable to many Americans.
As many mistakes as President Bush and his administration have made, they pale in comparison to the problems of millions on our planet. Even at its worst, America is still the best, and I am thankful for that.
Tim Waddingham is an undergraduate, double-majoring in speech communication and political science.