Today means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. For many, Thanksgiving is the best holiday of the year - a time to gather with your friends and family to share good food and good company and good conversation (and without the risk/guilt/obligation often-times associated with exchanging gifts!). I'll be leaving shortly to join some friends to engage a great deal of carousing and imbibing and eating and football watching. But before I go, I'd like to leave you with this...
Members of the 2014 Seattle Mariners as various aspects of your Thanksgiving holiday
Travelling to your relatives': Justin Smoak
Man does this suck. Once upon a time, travelling during the holidays seemed fun, but it's just not enjoyable any more. Every year you try and trick yourself into thinking that maybe it won't be so bad this time. Maybe if you just adjust your expectations... as long as things are just a little bit better (e.g., your plane is only delayed an hour and a half) it'll end up being okay. But no. It sucks, sucks, sucks. Thankfully, this is the last time. Next year, your family can come visit you.
Eating a ton the day before (or the morning of) Thanksgiving in order to "stretch out your stomach": Austin Jackson
Seems like a pretty good idea at the time... but it ends up turning out much more poorly than anticipated.
Watching the Thanksgiving Day parade: Logan Morrison
Towards the beginning of the parade it's hard to get excited because you're sleepy and you just want some caffeine. So you go make some coffee and putz around in the kitchen for awhile. By the time you sit back down on the couch the parade is more than halfway over. But then you remember... Santa is coming! All of a sudden, watching the rest of the parade (especially the last few minutes) is really exciting.
Throwing a football around before you eat: James Paxton
This is always really enjoyable, especially if the weather is nice. Sunshine, fallen maple leaves, a wonderfully crisp smell to the air. What could be better? But watch out! It's easy to slip on those leaves....... Ouch! Did you fall on your back? Maybe you should go sit down for awhile and recover before rejoining the festivities.
That one cousin who no one likes but nobody can quite remember why: Yoervis Medina
Despite the fact that this guy doesn't smell bad and has a few interesting things to say, he's generally shunned by the party.
That one guest you were really excited about having over, who declined your invitation, but then shows up anyway because of a mix-up with his other plans: Kendrys Morales
What a jerk. Now the table settings are all messed up!
Crescent rolls: Michael Saunders
So good! How can anybody not like these? Oh... Cousin Jack is contemplating a gluten-free diet because of something he read one time in a dubious "health" magazine? That would likely be a silly decision. I sure hope he decides against it.
Green salad: Willie Bloomquist/Endy Chavez
I recognize the health benefits of eating vegetables and the utility of having something fairly light and unassuming on my plate, but if a salad makes up more than just a small portion of Thanksgiving dinner I'll likely be upset.
Cranberry sauce/relish: Chris Young
This is always something that I add to my plate as somewhat of an afterthought, but then it turns out to be surprisingly good.
That one kid who sat at the "adults" table this year even though he probably shouldn't have: Stefen Romero
We thought that maybe he would fit in until he used his dessert fork for his salad. Send him back to the kids' table until he's learned better!
Mashed potatoes/sweet potatoes: Brad Miller/Chris Taylor
The starchy goodness of mashed/sweet potatoes can really tie together a well constructed Thanksgiving plate. Although not generally the highlight, a Thanksgiving dinner without potatoes would likely be significantly less successful. Personally, I'd choose regular mashed potatoes over sweet potatoes any time, but some people just never shut up about how much they love sweet potatoes.
Wine/beer/Thanksgiving cocktails: Tom Wilhelmsen
Jell-O fruit salad: Roenis Elias
Low expectations followed by a general enjoyment. I'm glad that I added this to my plate, but I probably wouldn't be terribly heartbroken if it weren't there.
Stuffing: Fernando Rodney
Generally a pretty solid dish that I enjoy quite a lot. But you gotta watch out... sometimes people cook the stuffing inside the turkey. This can occasionally lead to a side dish that is swimmin' with salmonella, which could make you sick and ruin an otherwise lovely holiday.
Brussels sprouts: Mike Zunino
I feel like some people are going to be mad about this selection... but you shouldn't be! I like Brussels sprouts. It's just that they're a little difficult to cook, so a lot of the times, if someone doesn't really know what they're doing, they end up being kinda slimey or they don't taste good. But when they're good... oh man are they good.
Your appetite getting its second wind: Dustin Ackley
Although there are so many delicious things left to try, you're beginning to feel full, so you excuse yourself from the table to take a break. After a brisk walk around the block, you return to your plate with a vengeance, hungrier than ever before! Bring on round two.
Reaching for seconds/thirds only to realize that somebody already ate it all: Corey Hart
Sometimes, even though you want there to be something left, the casserole dish is just empty.
Green bean casserole: Kyle Seager
Perennially underrated, but always my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal. Unassuming, delicious, and man do I always want more.
Turkey: Robinson Cano
As far as food on Thanksgiving goes, this is the main event. Braised or deep-fried or grilled or smoked, there are so many ways that turkey can satisfy your hunger and provide you with enjoyment. Some people may try and tell you that turkey is a little bland (is it even trying to be delicious?), but I think that those people are nuts.
Pumpkin and/or apple Pie: James Jones
Oh man. You're so full right now! A little slice of pie would be wonderful, but if you have more than just a taste you're probably going to feel sick.
Leaving at 4pm to go catch some "Black Friday" deals: Hector Noesi
Just no. Don't ruin Thanksgiving.
Turkey sandwiches four hours later: Hisashi Iwakuma
Sometimes you've got to wait a little while to enjoy one of the better parts of Thanksgiving. But it's always worth the wait.
Spending time and making memories with your loved ones: Felix Hernandez
Some people like to pretend that Thanksgiving is all about food and that the turkey is the best, but we all know what's really important. Long live the King.
Hangover cure for the next morning: Joe Beimel
Hair of the dog, anyone?
- - -
I hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.