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Thanksgiving is dreadful, but giving thanks? It's awesome

By Rex Huppke, Tribune Content Agency on

I'm something of a Thanksgiving Scrooge. (I apologize for mixing holiday references. Feel free to throw gravy at me.)

Growing up, my paternal grandparents lived down the street. All our other family members lived far away and never came around, so Thanksgiving would just be my mom and dad and the grandparents. There was nothing new to talk about since we saw each other all the time, so the whole affair felt stilted, like we were trying too hard.

Add to that a few other factors -- I don't like big, heavy meals; I don't like getting dressed up (or wearing pants, for that matter); and the average Thanksgiving menu consists of several foods on my Ick List -- and you'll understand why Thanksgiving ranks a rung or two below Arbor Day on my holiday ladder.

But there is one exception to my insufferable negativity: thankfulness.

I appreciate the "thanks" part of Thanksgiving, and I love when we take time to reflect on all there is to be grateful for, like family, friends and charming newspaper columnists. (I just wish we could do the thankfulness part without having to wear pants and eat barf-o stuffing and listen to drunk uncles slur terrible jokes.)

With that in mind, I will share some of the many things I'm thankful for this year. Rest assured I'm typing this while wearing comfy shorts and sheltering 47 turkeys in my basement.

 

I'm thankful for the lawyers who rushed to Chicago airports to assist immigrants caught up in the Trump administration's various attempts at a travel ban targeting predominantly Muslim countries. It was an inspiration to see professionals jump, without hesitation, and come to the aid of those wrongly targeted by a decidedly un-American order.

I'm thankful there's still no stupid wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

I'm thankful there are still people out there who believe in facts.

I'm thankful for all the women who have stepped forward to reveal the staggering scope of sexual harassment and sexual assault in this country. Their courage will make us a better society.

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