My favorite holiday - at least, my favorite national holiday. It's the one major holiday out of the year I share with the rest of the country. When I sit down to my turkey dinner in my new house, surrounded by my family, I'll be doing the same thing as everyone else, each in their own time and their own way, whether they add their own ethnic touches like lasagna or chicken soup, or stick with standards, whether they're with family and friends, or sharing a restaurant meal with strangers, or even in a shelter - even if they eat ham or vegetarian or do weird things with the turkey like deep fry it (I know, it's supposed to be wonderful) or poach it.
And that's something that doesn't happen all that often. The holidays I celebrate the rest of the time tend to be Jewish and many are even unknown to the general public, while I pretty much ignore much of the secular calendar - I don't do Halloween or St. Valentine's Day, for example. I do celebrate the Fourth, of course, and I have no problems celebrating the secular New Year. We tend to do it quietly, whether it's with friends or by ourselves, but we do celebrate it.
But only Thanksgiving has customs, and I'm glad to observe most of them - the ritual foods, the ritual arguments , even the ritual TV shows. We don't worship at the gates of football, but that's only because none of us are football fans. I feel like I belong. I love being able to say, "Happy Thanksgiving" to other American friends and mean it.
Even if I'm currently scared that everything will be a disaster this Thursday.