I'm thankful that Thanksgiving comes around every year to give me a reason to be thankful.
I'm not thankful that I'm too stupid to appreciate all the things I'm thankful for that I need a holiday with the word "Thanks" in its title to bash me over the head. (I should also be more grateful for flags on days other than Flag Day.)
I'm thankful for my wonderful wife and my two cute kids.
I'm not thankful for idiot drivers. (And it's amazing that pretty much every other driver on the road is an idiot. If they drive slower than me they are a "Grandpa Gomer." If they drive faster than me they are a dangerous, reckless lawbreaker. And if they drive the same speed as me they need to give me a little space.)
I'm thankful for all the people who serve in the military, putting their lives on the line to protect our country and the world. (People like my nephew Cody and my brother-in-law Jordan.) (One of the benefits of Veteran's Day being so close to Thanksgiving is that by the time turkey day rolls around I still have our soldiers and their sacrifices on my mind.)
I'm not thankful for the idiots, morons, and despots who start wars and make it necessary for our soldiers to put their lives in jeopardy.
I'm thankful I won't be going out for the "Black Friday" sales. (We did that last year, and it was a "once.")
I'm not thankful for "Black Friday Creep." "Black Friday Creep" is either the fact that the "Black Friday" sales are starting earlier and earlier on Thursday evening, or it's that guy with the mullet, tank top, and back hair that crowded in front of us at Target last year. Either way, it's not pretty.
I'm thankful the Detroit Lions play football every Thanksgiving. Why? Because if I miss the game while I'm eating or visiting with family it's no big deal. After all, it's just the Detroit Lions. (Only two things have been entertaining about the Detroit Lions in the last 30 years: a) Barry Sanders and b) Eric Hipple's beard.)
I'm not thankful the Dallas Cowboys play every Thanksgiving. Unless they lose. (I still have fond memories of Randy Moss toasting the Cowboys on Thanksgiving.) (This year? Go Redskins!)
I'm thankful for the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, and Kansas City Chiefs. Because whenever I think life as a Minnesota Vikings fan is tough, I look at those teams and realize things could be worse. (Much, much, much worse.)
I'm not thankful for "reality" television.
I'm thankful for a four year old girl who says funny things that make me laugh. (Like this fall when the wind was blowing a bunch of leaves across the road and she said, "Are those leaves having fun? It looks like those leaves are having fun!")
I'm not thankful for gout. (I really could do without.)
I'm thankful for a two year old boy who has a smile that lights up a room, and who loves to have me read him books. (Except for when he starts whacking me in the stomach with a book in order to get me to read it to him.)
I'm not thankful falling asleep to a television show, then waking up in the middle of the night to a loud and annoying show on the same station. (Reruns of The Nanny are especially egregious at 3:00 AM.)
I'm thankful that instead of getting-married-for-the-sake-of-getting-married when I was younger, I waited around for someone who was right for me. (My wife is amazing, incredible, and fantastic!)
I'm not thankful for....Oh, who am I kidding? I'm just reaching for things to not be thankful for. I've got so many things to be thankful for, and so little reasons to be grumpy!
I'm thankful for my family. My wife. My kids. My brother and his family. My sister and her family. My Mom and Dad. My wife's family. My friends.
I'm thankful for chocolate chip pancakes on Thanksgiving morning. (Possibly a new holiday tradition?)
In fact, I'm so thankful for everything, I should be walking around with the goofiest smile on my face at all times. If you ever see me not smiling, please tell me to smile.
I'll proabably thank you.