On Track with Johnny D: Thanks

Thanksgiving is here. That’s the holiday when family members gather to watch parades, wager on football and to devour a celebratory feast.


What? At your house you don’t watch parades?


Traditional Thanksgiving feasts include turkey, potatoes, cranberry sauce, green beans and the most appropriately named dish ever: stuffing!


On this occasion, it’s also customary to imbibe alcohol until the pain of being surrounded by people you’d normally avoid like flesh-eating bacteria if they weren’t somehow related to you numbs.


So, you’ve got a creepy uncle who makes hairs on the back of your neck salute when he enters the room. Big deal, we’ve all got at least one of those–if not through blood, certainly via marriage.


Family is such an integral Thanksgiving thread. Relatives travel from far and wide to share the big day. In fact, AAA estimates that 48.7 million people will travel 50 miles or more from home this year during the four-day holiday period of Nov. 23 through Nov. 27—an increase of one million Americans over last year. More than 89 percent of holiday travelers will drive. That means either you’re gassing up the car to see that creepy uncle, or he’s hitchhiking to join you!


Personally, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year. I love to eat tasty food, especially, way too much of it at one sitting. So, there’s that. But, what I enjoy most about Turkey Day is that, unlike the next major celebration one month from now, Thanksgiving hasn’t been soured by rampant commercialism. I like to think of Thanksgiving as Christmas’ Bohemian brother, refusing to sell his soul to the highest bidder.


The day after Thanksgiving, however, all bets are off…and all stores are open, some of them beginning at 12:01 am sharp!


I enjoy the day after Thanksgiving even more than my birthday. It’s called Black Friday, which sounds like the title of the newest slasher film and, in some big-box stores, actually could be just as bloody. The label refers to the 24-hour period when retailers expect to make enough money to propel them toward profit or ‘into the black’ for the Christmas season.


I’m not part of that solution. On Black Friday, I don’t leave my house. I watch football, play the races with Xpressbet and eat turkey dinner leftovers—alternating between sandwiches and platters. Now, if there’s anything worldwide better than that, I haven’t found it.


If you’re still reading this, congratulations and thank you. In celebration, I’d offer to share a golden brown turkey leg, but this bird’s only got a pair and I’m going to need them both—one Thursday and one Friday.


Amazingly, I’ve saved discussion of my favorite aspect of Thanksgiving for last. That’s the part where we ‘give thanks’ for what we have; whatever we have. Health, wealth, family, friends, you name it. If you’re reading this then chances are you have way more than many others do. I know I do. So, I start right there and give thanks for that.


It’s true. We’ve worked hard to get what we have—we’ve studied, overcome obstacles, saved money, built careers, homes, families, lives. And, in recognition of those accomplishments, we deserve huzzahs, applause and gold watches.


Along the way, we’ve been fortunate, so very fortunate. We’ve gotten the breaks—not all of them, nobody does, but enough. And for that we should be heartily grateful.


IN MY YOUNGER and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. “Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.” -Fitzgerald, F. Scott The Great Gatsby.


I’ve had advantages. Lots of them. So many, in fact, that sometimes I wonder if I’ve made the most of them. No matter. Point is that I’m grateful for the life I have and I look forward to Thanksgiving each year and to the annual opportunity to officially declare it.


On behalf of everyone at Xpressbet, permit me to extend to you a sincere ‘Thanks’ for wagering with us. We realize that when it comes to account wagering services you have many options. We are grateful you choose to wager with us. Without you, the customer, member, client, horseplayer, etc. we don’t exist.


Happy Thanksgiving!


Race On!

On Track with Johnny D: Thanks

On Track with Johnny D |

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