Thanksgiving may very well be the best holiday we have. No segregating candied ham and knaidlach; everyone celebrates the same glorious bird. except vegetarians. Losers. An entire day based around stuffing your gluttonous American ass into a state of shock, revulsion and inevitably, comatose. Once sitting up is no longer an option, you migrate to the television and let contentedness lull you into a half slumber, wake and repeat.

Thanksgiving must be approached with great care, a lack of decent food in the weeks leading up to the feast, making its glory all the more acute. The meals immediately preceding Thanksgiving dinner are of utmost importance, a light breakfast of toast and jam readying the stomach for maximum elasticity without ruining the appetite.

I've heard many sob stories from the unfortunate souls born on or around holidays, most often Christmas or Chanukah. They don't get due attention - that damn shiny tree steals the spotlight - and what's worse, their parents try to rip them off by combining two gift occasions into one. I find myself facing far more dire circumstances. Born a turkey baby, I face the sad fate of having many a birthday meal overshadowed by Thanksgiving dinner. This predicament is especially acute on a year like this, when Thanksgiving falls just a day after my birthday.

My parents take my siblings and me out for an indulgent meal on our birthdays, a tradition I have grown to cherish all the more since leaving mom's cooking and discovering the world of microwaveable chicken and instant soup. It is this meal that rekindles my love for red meat, butter-like cuts through filet mignon foreshadowing the creme brul‚e to come.

Voicing concerns over this concentration of gastronomic excess, my mom asked whether I still want to do the big b-day meal.

Who wants to indulge pre-indulgence? Me. I do and I will. Bar Mitzvah weekends have trained me well. I'm ready as I'll ever be.


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