Does anyone else feel like Thanksgiving has come and gone and all your excess energy—ok, all your web browsing at work—is focused on Christmas? I mean, even my pants are tight, as if I’ve consumed the usual one too many plates of turkey, stuffing, and pecan pie at Thanksgiving.

Maybe it’s because Thanksgiving is late this year? Or, most likely, it’s because I’m always focused on the next event or the next thing on my list. And my list of things to do just keeps getting longer while the days keep getting shorter (literally). My life consists of making lists and then making lists of lists to check. Lists on my phones. Lists on sticky notes. Lists on my desk. All I want for Christmas is to never see another f’ing list.

My life.
My life.

So this year, I’m trying to forget my lists for a few days and focus on spending Thanksgiving present with family and friends. I have so much to be thankful for this year–you know, every day things, like these. But also more important things that become even more important on days like Thanksgiving. I put them in a list for you, because, why wouldn’t I?

  1. feeling comfortable enough with my extended family to unbutton my pants halfway through the meal—and leave them that way for the rest of the day
  2. four generations sitting around one table. It makes you realize that farm-to-table has truly come full circle. But liberal viewpoints are still a country mile away.
  3.  two of the cutest nephews in the world—and my 18-year-old college freshman cousin, who make far bigger of a mess and a hell of a lot more noise I do. The baton has been passed.
  4. stories–new and old–told throughout the day. you never know what will come out a 90-year-old’s mouth, but it’s sure to be offensive to at least one group of people. on the other hand, we all know that at least one person will tell the Sonoma story. repetitiveness and offensiveness come hand in hand in this family, like turkey and gravy.
  5. and finally, these holiday napkins. With 32 family members in one house, the line between Thanksgiving and the holidays gets a whole lot thinner. After all, with clean plates and full stomachs, we all need a little exercise.

While those may not seem like your usual things to be thankful for, look closely. You will see that family, friends, food, good times, and good wine all make the list–and that, my friends, is a list that I never want to cross off.


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