Our Thanksgiving meal was a great success.  The turkey and turducken were succulent.  The stuffing and mashed potatoes and gravy were excellent.  The butternut squash soup was tasty, too.

And now, belts have been loosened, the second football game is on the air, and any normal male’s thoughts inevitably turn to . . . pie.  Pumpkin, or pecan?  Or maybe both.

The Pre-Feast Feast

We’re having the extended Webner clan over for Thanksgiving dinner today, about 15 people in all.

NFL football is on, the beers have been iced down and the wine bottles are opened, and we’ll be eating at about 4 p.m.  Today’s Thanksgiving dinner will feature turducken and traditional turkey, soup and stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, and rolls and cranberry sauce.

But since we aren’t eating until 4 p.m. or so, we need something to tide us over until then.  So we’ve got a light, pre-feast, nibble-worthy repast laid out on the kitchen table, with a little fire to it — wasabi peas, almonds, cold baby carrots, tiny tomatoes, wedges of iced raisin bread, and cheese, liver pate, and crackers.  We don’t want anyone keeling over from hunger — or for that matter too many beers — before the real meal begins.

The Best Macy’s Parade Balloon

There’s no question, really — it’s Underdog.

Anyone who has seen the Canine Avenger hurtling through the concrete canyons of Manhattan, arms outstretched, blazing eyes of righteousness scanning for wrongs to be righted and evildoers to be brought to justice, knows that Underdog is the greatest Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon.

Sweet Polly Purebred agrees with me on this, incidentally.  Simon Bar Sinister is awaiting trial for his misdeeds and couldn’t be reached for comment.

Why I’m Thankful This Thanksgiving

As this Thanksgiving Day dawns, I am thankful for many things.

First and foremost, I am thankful for my lovely wife, Kish, who is a truly wonderful person.  This year we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary, and thanks to her patience, sense of humor, and generous spirit, they have been 30 fantastic years.  We are happily looking forward to many more to come.

I am thankful for Richard and Russell, our strapping and interesting sons, who are pursuing their dreams and passions with the independence and sense of adventure that is essential to personal success — however you might define it — in our rapidly changing world.  I’m thankful to every teacher who worked so hard to help shape the intelligent, creative young men whom we are happy to welcome home for the Thanksgiving meal.

I am thankful to live in this great country, where freedom is our birthright and our beliefs in democracy and tolerance and fairness are shared by so many people of good will.  I am thankful for my mother, brother and sisters, for my uncles and aunts and cousins, for our neighbors and friends, for my partners, clients, and colleagues, and for our Webner House readers, all of whom add such richness and texture to our lives.

And this Thanksgiving, especially, I am thankful for the American medical system — for the well-trained doctors, for the miraculous procedures and equipment, for the cheerful and professional nurses, and for the dedicated rehabilitation specialists and therapists and assistants who aid those who are hurting.  When you have a loved one who is experiencing health issues, it is so deeply reassuring to know that they are in the hands of gentle, caring people who will do their very best to help them get well.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!