The following is a YouTube video for my YouTube Channel, Jack’s World. Since it’s the week of Thanksgiving, I thought it would be timely. It covers my history with getting into shape, the challenges I faced along the way, and my advice for those who seek to do the same. I’ve talked about this challenge before, but I thought it warranted a more comprehensive video. Enjoy!
Tag Archives: Thanksgiving
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
If you did it right, you’re still digesting dinner and desert. I sure am.
However, as fun as it is to enjoy food, family, and football on Thanksgiving, Black Friday has become an extension of sorts for the holiday. For some people, it invites even bolder traditions than Thanksgiving. I’ve known people who will immediately camp outside of major stories almost immediately after Thanksgiving dinner.
I’m not one of them. I prefer enjoying Black Friday shopping on Black Friday. I always have. It’s not that I’m a sucker for sales and excessive consumerism. I just genuinely enjoy the Black Friday shopping experience, from the crowds to the holiday decorations to the various festivities.
I know that makes me weird in the eyes of some. I understand that. Black Friday is one of those events that you either love or hate. You love it because it’s the best shopping time of the season. You hate it because it’s the pinnacle of rampant consumerism. I can appreciate both positions. I still enjoy it.
That’s why this year is so difficult. This is the first year where I won’t partake in any Black Friday shopping sprees of any kind. Thanks to a global pandemic and a massive spike in cases over the past few weeks, pretty much any hope of salvaging this event, even in part, is gone.
For some, it’s no great loss. Not being able to go on a shopping spree in crowded stores probably doesn’t mean much to a lot of people. It means a lot to me.
It’s not just for the shopping part. Like many others, I do most of my Christmas shopping online. I finish nearly 90 percent of my holiday shopping before Black Friday. To me, just getting the gifts I want for my family isn’t the point anymore.
It’s the experience I’ve come to appreciate. That experience is what matters to me. It’s an experience that comes partially from my mother’s fondness of shopping.
She has told me on multiple occasions that her favorite activity with me, when I was a baby, was going shopping at the malls. I feel like I inherited that fondness for the experience from her. It’s one I even shared with my ex-girlfriend years ago. Some of our most memorable moments came while shopping on Black Friday.
Now, it’s just not possible to have any of those moments in a year like this.
It’s not surprising, given the current state of affairs, but it’s still disappointing. It’s yet another indicator that 2020 is a year in which we’ve lost so much. Between major movie releases, major sporting events, and beloved celebrities, the losses just keep accumulating. This is just the latest.
I don’t doubt it’ll come back at some point. Depending on how rapidly we recover from this pandemic, I have a feeling people will be eager to make up for lost experiences next year. I know I will.
Until then, I just want to take a moment to appreciate the past experiences I’ve enjoyed with Black Friday shopping. The experience of just going to malls, being around crowds, and taking part in holiday festivities are some of my favorite aspects of this time of year. I won’t let 2020 ruin my holidays, but I intend to appreciate future Black Fridays even more.
To everyone out there, no matter how jaded you might be after this past year, I wish you a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!
I know this year has disrupted many plans, holiday and non-holiday alike. They’ve certainly disrupted mine. I can attest that Thanksgiving this year will be very different for me compared to previous years. The large family gatherings that I’m so fond of just aren’t possible to do safely.
As disappointing as that is, I won’t let it stop me from enjoying Thanksgiving with my family, nor should it stop anyone else. It may require some frustrating adaptations. It may also require a working knowledge of video chatting and Zoom. It’s still worth doing.
That’s what you do for family.
That’s what you do for the holidays.
It’s part of what makes you thankful to have them in your life.
That’s worth celebrating and I encourage everyone to do so.
As you get older, you come to treasure certain memories more than most. It’s a natural thing. If you’ve conducted yourself a certain way, it can be a beautiful thing. It’s not always a pleasant process, especially as you encounter major life challenges and inevitable hardships. That doesn’t make it any less meaningful.
The holidays are a time during which we form many such memories. I certainly have. Some of my most cherished memories occurred over the holidays. Some were on Christmas and some were on Thanksgiving. This year, with so many friends and family still isolated due to the pandemic, I find myself contemplating those memories more than usual.
I doubt I’m alone. There’s just no getting around it. For Thanksgiving, especially, we just can’t do things the way we normally do in 2020. That’s just the reality of a deadly pandemic. We can’t travel, get together, or casually share used forks. It’s sad and frustrating, but that’s just the way things have to be for this year.
For me and my family, that’s especially difficult. That’s because every year, my parents make it a point to make their house, the same one I grew up in, the epicenter of all things Thanksgiving. Every year, family from all over traveled to our part of the country to get together, have a giant meal, and just enjoy each other’s company.
These gatherings were often the biggest family gatherings of the year. It wasn’t unusual for there to be at least 20 people crammed into that house. It was big and rowdy, but we all loved it. I certainly did. We had so much fun, sharing in the joys of food, family, and football. I’m really going to miss that this year.
Rather than dwell on that, though, I’d like to share a quick personal story that I hope will get others through this pandemic-hit holiday. It just happens to be one of my favorite Thanksgiving memories of all time and one that perfectly defines what makes my family so awesome.
This particular memory unfolded when I was fairly young. I was still in elementary school at the time and much of my extended family wasn’t that much older. Once again, my parents made their house the central focus of Thanksgiving festivities and we attracted quite a crowd. I remember aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends joining in, some of which I hadn’t seen in years.
In addition to the usual gathering and feasting, the weather this year was just perfect. It was unusually warm for late November. A number of cousins and friends wore shorts and a T-shirt. It was just that nice out. As a result, we hung around outside a lot more than usual. It’s here where this Thanksgiving memory really takes hold.
Shortly after we ate, a bunch of cousins and extended family gathered in the backyard and started throwing around a football, as many are inclined to do on Thanksgiving. It started as a simple game of catch between a few cousins. It then evolved into a full-fledged game, complete with route running, elaborate plays, and touchdown dances.
We didn’t plan it.
We didn’t keep score.
We didn’t even set clear rules and time limits.
We all just came together as friends and family to play a football game in the backyard. It felt so natural and organic. It was a perfect manifestation of everything we loved about Thanksgiving get-togethers.
If that weren’t memorable enough, some clouds rolled in near sunset and it started raining suddenly. However, not one person in the backyard ran inside. If anything, it just made everyone more excited to play. The game kept going. We kept running around, tackling each other, and just had an all-around great time.
Being a kid with a belly full of Thanksgiving dinner, I honestly didn’t want it to end. I wanted to just hang out back there and play football until the sun went down. Even as some friends and family had to leave, we kept going for as long as we could. When it finally ended, I knew on some levels that this had been a special Thanksgiving.
Time has only proven that sentiment right. To date, it’s one of my most cherished Thanksgiving memories. I’ll likely cherish it even more as I endure a Thanksgiving without that big family gathering I’ve come to love and appreciate. I know many in my family feel the same way.
Thanksgiving this year may be disappointing in its scope, but I would encourage them and everyone who shares that feeling to think back to those memories. More importantly, use them as inspiration, as well as motivation, to make Thanksgiving in 2021 even more special.
I hope this little story has boosted your holiday spirits. I also hope everyone finds a way to enjoy Thanksgiving this year, however tempered it might be. The holidays are here. Let’s not allow a pandemic to dampen our spirits.
Let’s not lie to ourselves. Thanksgiving is going to be very different this year. Pretty much everything has had to be different this year, thanks to a once-in-a-century pandemic. There’s just no way around it. All we can do is adapt and endure.
For some, that means Thanksgiving is not going to be quite as festive. If you enjoy large family gatherings, hanging out near malls for Black Friday sales, or traveling extensively to meet up with relatives, then your Thanksgiving spirit is going to be tempered this year, by default. That’s just the way it is in 2020.
I’m already bracing myself. I’m still getting together with family, but it’s going to be on a much smaller scale than usual. Given how big my family is and how much they love get-togethers, that’s going to make it rough. We’re still going to try and make it work. Thankfully, most of us have already learned to have large gatherings through Zoom and FaceTime.
However, I’d rather not dwell on what this Thanksgiving will lack. In the interest of keeping things balanced, I’d like to do my part to help us endure these pandemic-hampered holidays.
To that end, I’d like to share a video from the channel, Best Posts & Comments. It’s a simple complication of Reddit posts that recounted infamous incidents that occurred on Thanksgiving.
I must offer a clear warning, though. Some of these incidents are quite cringy. Trust me. You’ll know it when you hear it. Cringe or not, I hope it helps you feel a bit better about Thanksgiving this year. Enjoy!
The holidays are right around the corner.
That’s probably something you’ve heard more than once in the past few weeks. Chances are, you started hearing it the day after Halloween. If you’ve been to a mall or a major box store recently, you’ve probably seen Christmas decoration and displays popping up. A few even went up alongside displays for Halloween candy.
This raises a question that always seems to come up around this time of year, usually in the weeks between Halloween and Thanksgiving.
How early is too early for Christmas decoration?
Sometimes, it’s asked cynically. Other times, it asked with the same whiny undertone as a kid who complains that he can’t have ice cream for every meal. It still gets asked every year, it seems. Even a global pandemic hasn’t stopped seasonal displays and holiday themed commercials from popping up.
Before I even try to answer this, I need to make one important disclaimer. It’ll likely undermine my credibility in addressing this question, but I don’t care. I’m putting it out there.
I already have my Christmas decorations up.
I actually put them up the day before Halloween.
Yes, I understand that’s much earlier than most.
No, I don’t care if you think that’s too early.
I love Christmas and I love holiday decorations. I make no apologies for that. Talk to anyone in my family. They’ll tell you the same thing. I take Christmas seriously. I’m the guy who has his decorations up before everyone else. I’m also the guy who keeps them up longer than everyone else. I also usually start my Christmas shopping before Thanksgiving.
I say all this to make abundantly clear that I am hopelessly bias when it comes to this question. In my defense, I live alone and I own my own place. Legally speaking, I can put up Christmas decorations whenever I want and keep them up for as long as I want. I have the HOA documents to prove it.
I still realize that I’m an anomaly with respect to Christmas decorations. What counts as too early for me is going to be different from most other people, even if they love Christmas as much as I do. It’s still a question worth taking seriously, if only to maintain some consistency in our holiday traditions.
Growing up, we had a simple rule in my family. The earliest we can put up decorations is the week after Thanksgiving. Sometimes, we did it earlier, but only because we had other things going on and had to get it out of the way. I think that’s a fair rule.
I have friends and family members who say any day after Thanksgiving is no longer considered “too early.” The way they see it, Thanksgiving is the last holiday before Christmas. Once it passes, it’s perfectly acceptable to start looking forward to and planning for Christmas. I can’t disagree with that.
A select few take it a step further. They say that, if stores and malls are going to have Christmas displays, then it’s perfectly acceptable for everyone else to do the same. Why should these businesses play by different rules? They are, after all, responding to market forces. We, the consumers, are part of the market. They’re not setting the tone. We are because we respond to it.
That’s an interesting sentiment, albeit one I’m not sure I buy into. I’ve seen some stores put up holiday displays on the first day of October. Even for me, that’s a little too early, if only because the weather is still warm and Christmas is a winter-themed holiday. Putting it up while the weather is still warm is like getting ready for bed at noon.
I’ve never had a particular date or signal that I follow when I put my decorations up. One key indicator that often prompts me is the arrival of a few cold days. That triggers in me an inclination to start thinking about the holidays because they always seem to arrive faster than we expect. I just like to be proactive.
That was the case this year. A few days before Halloween, it got very cold. It didn’t stay cold, but that was enough of a sign for me to dust off my storage bins and break out the decorations. For me, that’s the point when it no longer became “too early” for Christmas decorations.
You may or may not agree with that point, but that was part of my decision-making process with respect to putting up my decorations. I won’t say it was the biggest part. I just love the holidays that much. I’ll look for any excuse to put my decorations up. I may do it even earlier next year, but I still understand that makes me an anomaly.
If you decide through a different process, I respect that. I even offer you to share it in the comments. I gave my justification for putting my decorations up. At this point, it’s no longer “too early” by my standards to put up your decorations. What does your standard say and how do you determine it?
Please let me know. We’re going to be hearing this question a lot between now and Thanksgiving. Let’s not avoid it or the implications.
It’s official. The holidays are here! That means the people who have been whining about seeing Christmas decorations since October can finally stop whining. There’s no more leftover turkey or Halloween candy. For the next few weeks, it’s all about getting ready for Christmas and all the festive joys that entails.
For me, one of those joys involves holiday shopping. Yes, I know that’s strange to hear from a straight guy who writes sexy short stories about sex robots. No, I don’t care. I love shopping, in general. I attribute that mostly to my awesome mother, who just loved taking me to malls when I was a baby. I like to think that left an indelible mark that is at its best during the holidays.
That’s because when it comes to holiday shopping and buying presents for loved ones, I do not take it lightly. I’m not cheap and I make a concerted effort to get a gift that’s meaningful. That means no gift cards or last-minute panic buys. When someone opens a gift I bought them, I want their face to light up like a dozen Christmas trees. Seeing that joy and sharing it with loved ones is part of why I love the holidays.
It all starts with the shopping. I know the malls are crowded, the parking is a mess, and the commercials are cheesy. I don’t care. I love every second of it and I intend to enjoy it until Christmas Eve. As of now, most of my shopping is done. I still have a few more gifts to buy and I intend to make them count.
Say what you will about my opinions on politics, religion, and sex robots. Just never doubt my Christmas spirit. I hope these Sexy Sunday Thoughts make that point. Enjoy!
“The ability of a man to masturbate to the same porn star is indicative of how loyal he’ll be in a relationship.”
“Technically, family reunion are celebrations of successful orgasms.”
“A happy spouse, a loyal spouse, and a horny spouse are difficult traits to juggle.”
“When you think about it, simultaneous orgasm was the first manifestation of socialism.”
“A relationship based on make-up sex is the romantic equivalent of a stock market bubble.”
“Someone with a foot fetish probably has mixed feelings about dirty socks.”
“Take a moment to appreciate how creative and horny the inventor of certain sex toys must have been.”
I hope that helped get everyone into the holiday shopping spirit. Whether you do it online or brave the crowded malls, I encourage everyone to put a little extra effort into getting gifts for your loved ones. They don’t have to be expensive. They just have to be meaningful and sincere. That, more than anything, is what makes the holiday spirit so special.
By now, with the Thanksgiving festivities over and the family gatherings complete, it’s finally sinking in. You realize just how much you ate and how much you’ve probably set back that New Years Resolution you made 11 months ago. If your Thanksgiving was as successful as mine, then it’s likely you feel as anxious as I do about what we just put our bodies through.
That’s not to say it was a bad thing. Thanksgiving is a holiday. You’re supposed to overeat, over-indulge, and forget every sound nutrition advice you ever got from your doctor. That’s part of what makes it special. At some point, however, you have to let go of the holiday spirit and get back to more responsible health habits.
It can be frustrating, tedious, and strenuous on so many levels. It’s still worth doing. Take it from someone who eats like a pig on the holidays and was out of shape for the first half of his life. You do feel a difference when you make an effort to get back into shape after Thanksgiving.
To that end, I’d like to share a few tips, along with some personal insights. Over the past few years, I’ve developed and refined my own method for getting back into healthier habits after a successful Thanksgiving. I’ve even developed my own unique workout routine.
Now, I’m not going to claim that this is one of those gimmicky fitness regiments that you see in infomercials and fitness magazines full of Photoshopped fitness models. What works for one person isn’t going to work for everyone. Everybody’s body is different. Everybody reacts to holiday gorging and exercise differently. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to getting into shape, at least for now.
That said, there are many health benefits to exercise and staying in shape, especially after the holidays. It goes beyond just looking better naked and looking sexier at the beach in the summer. In some ways, the exercise you do after the holidays is even more rewarding and not just because you have more calories to burn.
You work hard on yourself to ensure you can indulge during the holidays. Like anything worth achieving, putting in the effort makes the end result more satisfying. I’ve certainly come to appreciate that effort and in the interest of helping those still digesting that extra slice of cheesecake, here is my personal process for getting into shape after Thanksgiving.
Step 1: Refocused Diet (That Makes Me Less Hungry)
Make no mistake. Diet is the hardest part of staying in shape.
There’s a popular saying that six-pack abs are made in the kitchen. That’s not just an adage. It’s true. How you eat is a major factor in how you look, feel, and conduct yourself in any effort related to your health. I know Thanksgiving tends to throw a wrench in any diet you might have maintained all year. I say that as someone who ate no fewer than three slices of cheesecake on Thanksgiving.
In a sense, Thanksgiving is the ultimate cheat day and one you should take advantage of. When that day is over, though, the key is less about eating less and more about eating right. What I mean by that is you should focus not on just eating fewer calories. The goal should be to feel less hungry.
That can be done without sheer will-power. It’s a fact that certain foods make you less hungry. Those foods are often high in fiber and protein, including things like eggs, nuts, and whole wheat bread. You don’t have to eat much of those to feel full. Most of my post-Thanksgiving meals consist of chicken, mixed vegetables, and eggs. Much of it comes from frozen meals which aren’t that expensive.
On top of that, I ditch soda and drink mainly water or black coffee. That helps keep sugar intake to a minimum. While it’s difficult to cut sugar out completely, especially after enjoying so many holiday desserts, it is important to limit it. Whether it’s your coffee or your snacks, it’s the sugar that’ll make you feel hungry and keep you from feeling energized.
I usually dedicate the first two weeks after Thanksgiving to sticking to my diet. I make sure most of my meals involve chicken, eggs, and vegetables. I do keep a cheat day for which I will indulge a little, but I try to usually make those first two weeks the most important. Get through that and you’ll be back into less festive eating habits, at least until Christmas.
Step 2: My Workout Routine
This part is somewhat easier for me because I love working out. I know that’s not a feeling everyone has, especially if they’ve never been big on going to the gym. I understand that. I too used to resent going to the gym. When I started taking my health more seriously, it became part of my routine. Now, I get upset when I can’t go.
My routine isn’t on par with an Olympic athlete or body builder. I also wouldn’t call it easy, either. You will get winded and sore from my workout, but only to a point. It will get the job done, though. I know this because it has helped keep my weight stable, even after holidays. I can also see my abs, biceps, and leg muscles too, which is a nice touch.
My workout isn’t all about going to the gym, either. In fact, I usually go to a gym at least twice a week. That’s as much as I can squeeze in. On days I don’t go, I still work out. It’s just usually involves something different. For that reason, I’ll separate my workout from my gym days from my non-gym days. With that in mind, here’s my routine.
On my gym day, I start by running at least 3.5 miles on a treadmill or outside, if the weather permits it.
I then do a series of weight training with either machines or free weights that include 4 sets of 12 reps of the following:
- Bicep curls
- Tricep curls
- Butterfly chest
- Shoulder pull-downs/extensions
- Ab crunches
- Leg lifts
- Leg press
In general, this whole routine takes a little over an hour. I’ll also mix it up at times, either by doing the weight training first and then doing cardio at the end. I’ll also sometimes exchange the treadmill for an elliptical, which is easier on my feet and gives a better workout for my legs. If you have knee or foot problems, I highly recommend using an elliptical.
For days when I don’t go to the gym or can’t make it, I try to go running. Most of the time, it’s around the block. I try to run for at least 30 minutes, sometimes longer. In addition, I’ll also do 100 sit-ups, followed by 100 squats in my bedroom. This keeps those muscles strong and gets my heart rate going to burn extra calories.
I also reserve one day of the week for rest. Usually, it’s Wednesday. That’s not just a cheat day, either. It’s critical that you rest your body, even if you’re doing a modest workout routine. I’ve tried going 7 days a week a few times. I often end up hurting myself or making myself too sore to work out for extended periods. Don’t learn that lesson the hard way. Leave one day for rest. Your body will thank you.
Step 3: Staying Focused (Until Christmas)
I know it’s easy to encourage diet and exercise as a means to get back into shape, especially after a holiday like Thanksgiving. Most people can even make the effort for the first couple days after Thanksgiving, just like they do in the first few days after New Year’s when they promise themselves they’ll get into shape.
In the same way people tend to break their New Year’s Resolution, they’ll often break their post-Thanksgiving resolution and it doesn’t help that there’s another major holiday right afterwards. Christmas, with all its sugar cookies and candy canes, adds plenty of temptation to the mix and it’s not easy to resist. I don’t deny that for a second.
That’s why the most critical aspect of getting into shape after Thanksgiving involves focus. By that, I don’t just mean keeping a schedule. One reason why it’s so easy to slip back into unhealthy habits is because the holidays can be overwhelming. You find yourself wanting to just stop, take it easy, and let everything slow down.
However, the holidays don’t slow down, especially as Christmas gets closer. If anything, it makes things even more stressful. When you’re stressed out, you’re less inclined to exercise. You’re also more inclined to reach for those sugary holiday treats. It can quickly become a self-reinforcing cycle that’ll leave you even less healthy than you were after Thanksgiving.
The best way to combat this is to maintain focus. One of the benefits of having other holidays after Thanksgiving is that it offers plenty of distractions. When you’re distracted, you’re less likely to eat and slack off. Use that to your advantage.
Sometimes, it means going shopping or just hanging out with friends more often. It also can involve things like preparing holiday decorations and preparing gift lists. It may not always be productive, but if it keeps you from slipping into that ugly self-reinforcing cycle, then it has merit.
I hope these tips help with everyone still digesting their Thanksgiving treats. There’s a time and a place for indulgence and the holidays are definitely one of them. However, it’s for that reason that we make the time in between as productive and healthy as possible. As a result, it helps make the holidays feel more special in the end.
The following is a sexy short story centered around love, Thanksgiving, and all things sexy. Whether you’re just about to eat or still digesting dessert, I hope this helps boost your holiday spirit, among other things. Enjoy!
“I’m so thankful that you and your family could join us this year, Kari.”
“So am I, Mrs. Zale…more than I can possibly put into words.”
That heartfelt toast had capped off a very filling, very successful Thanksgiving dinner for Karianne Kayden. It was led by Erica Zale, the mother of her childhood friend turned high school sweetheart, Jeremy Zale. It made real something she thought she’d never experience again…a happy Thanksgiving feast.
Having just experienced it over the course of a very memorable Thanksgiving, Kari felt many emotions boil to the surface. She’d held back tears when Jeremy’s mother made that toast. She held back even more when her mother, a woman who’d spent the last three years recovering from a bitter divorce, stood up and hugged her friend and former college roommate. It was a powerful moment and one Kari still hadn’t processed.
“Being thankful on Thanksgiving again,” Kari pondered under her breath, “I almost forgot what it felt like. Just when I thought I’d never feel it again.”
She’d been in a festive daze since dessert at the Zale family home was served an hour ago. Long before that, she’d arrived at the house with her mother, her two older brothers, and her mother’s sister with a broken holiday spirit. She expected Jeremy and his extended family to go the extra mile to make Thanksgiving special for them, but she had no idea they’d succeed so wonderfully.
Three years ago – and on Thanksgiving, no less – Kari’s family and her world came crashing down. Even before that fateful day, it had been a poorly kept secret that her parents had a rocky relationship. They’d met in college and started a business together shortly after graduating. While the business was successful, it did not improve their marriage in the slightest. Over the years, they drifted further and further apart, leading to many heated fights and simmering resentment.
Jeremy and his family knew the details more than most. His mother had been friends with hers throughout that tumultuous relationship. It was part of why she and Jeremy spent so much time together as kids. It was their way of keeping her away from all the upheavals in her family. The sources of tension were many, ranging from disagreements over business dealings to alleged affairs that her father had with his female colleagues. Everyone from Jeremy to her older brothers tried to hide it from her, but they could only hide so much.
Kari didn’t have to know all the sordid details to know that her parents should’ve gotten divorced years ago. The only reason they stayed together was because of her and her siblings. In hindsight, that might have been a mistake and one that earned her the brunt of the drama. Both her older brothers moved out and went to colleges in other states as soon as they could. That left her alone in a house with resentful parents for six years of her teenage life.
Finally, it all collapsed on a fateful Thanksgiving morning. Her father and mother had their worst fight to date. It got so bad that her mother threw the turkey he’d been making out the window and her father took a baseball bat to the TV, stove, and dining room. He left the house after that and hadn’t been welcome back since.
“After that, how could I ever have a holiday spirit?” Kari wondered.
She ate chips and leftover tuna for Thanksgiving that year. The next day, her mother filed for divorce. She claimed that her and her father thought she’d been in the basement during that fight, but Kari suspected that was just her way of saving face. Both she and her father even admitted they hurt her the most by staying together longer than they should’ve. They each spent the next three years trying to heal the scars they’d left.
Time, therapy, and living in a house with less fighting helped, but Kari didn’t think she’d ever enjoy Thanksgiving again. Around that same time, however, her friendship with Jeremy changed. They went from a couple of long-time friends to something deeper. He’d been instrumental in helping her deal with her parents’ divorce. It seemed inevitable, yet fitting that they’d develop deeper feelings for one another.
Now, as she sat next to him on the couch, curled up to his side and resting her head on his shoulder, Kari marveled at how much those feelings had blossomed. Thanks to him, his mother, and their amazing effort to make the holidays feel special again, she felt so grateful to have him in her life.
“You get enough desert, Kari?” he asked, having just finished a piece of his father’s legendary cheesecake.
“I got plenty. Thank you,” Kari replied, still hiding the sea of emotions in her voice.
“You sure? Because you know you’re older brothers are going to eat the rest and fight anyone who tries to stop them,” Jeremy said, half-jokingly.
“Let them have it. They needed this as much as me.”
“But you needed it more,” he pointed out. “Even your mother agrees. You were due a perfect Thanksgiving.”
He lovingly kissed the side of her forehead and held her closer. He then watched with her as his parents, her mother, her older brothers, and Jeremy’s extended family gathered around the TV to watch the second half of the last Thanksgiving football game.
It was getting late. Some of his youngest cousins were already asleep in other rooms. Her older brothers, along with his aunts and uncles, were also somewhat tipsy after multiple servings of beer and wine. Her mother was sober, but Kari hadn’t seen her that happy in years. She and Jeremy’s mother stayed close on the other side of the room, laughing together like the good friends they were.
It was such a joyous, festive environment. They’d spent all day just hanging out, enjoying each other’s company, and feasting on a veritable buffet of Thanksgiving classics. It was everything Thanksgiving was supposed to be and everything she hadn’t experienced for years. The fact that it was almost over and hadn’t gone horribly wrong wasn’t just refreshing. It overwhelmed Kari in an unexpected way.
“Hey,” Jeremy said, noticing her disposition, “is everything okay?”
Kari felt his concerned gaze on her. She couldn’t hide the tears forming in her eyes. She turned towards him, if only to hide them from everyone else. When she looked at him, he just held her closer while caressing her face, looking at her with the love and concern she’d come to treasure.
At that moment, Kari came to a powerful realization. Thanksgiving was almost over. It had gone better than anything she could’ve hoped for, but there was still one way to make it truly special.
“You’re half-right, Jeremy,” she told him. “I was due. I needed something like this so much. My whole family did.”
“So why do you look like you’re about to burst into tears?” he asked with more concern.
“Because it’s not perfect yet,” Kari said, “but I know how to make it perfect.”
He cast her a curious gaze. Then, while everyone else was distracted by the game on the TV, she whispered into his ear.
“Make love to me,” she said to him. “Take me upstairs into your room and make love to me.”
Jeremy reacted with minor shock, but managed to hide it from their mothers and the rest of the family. His shock gave way to intrigue as soon as he realized how serious she was. Still holding her close, he leaned in and whispered back.
“Would that make this Thanksgiving perfect for you?” he asked her.
“Yes,” Kari said, without hesitation. “It would.”
“That’s all I needed to know.”
What unfolded next felt like an early Christmas miracle. Her wonderfully cunning boyfriend took her hand in his and with the utmost subtly, rose up from the couch with her. Nobody else in the living room noticed. Even their moms remained distracted. Between the multiple glasses of wine and the laughter from reminiscing their college years, they weren’t inclined to notice.
Carrying himself like nothing was amiss, he led her out of the living room, through the kitchen, and into the foyer. Along the way, he cast her a sneaky grin and pressed his finger to his lips, encouraging more cunning as they neared the stairs. Kari got the message and smiled back. She didn’t even make eye contact with Jeremy’s cousins, who were in the den playing video games.
As soon as they reached the stairs, the need for subtlety and stealth faded. Once they were out of sight from parents and relatives, Jeremy moved with more urgency. He even gave her hand a firm squeeze, as if to let her know she could stop hiding it. Like a dam starting to crack, those feelings she’d barely managed all day started to come out.
“We’re really doing this,” Kari said. “You’re really this dedicated to making this day perfect.”
“Of course, I am,” Jeremy replied. “You’re my girl. How could I do any less?”
Kari swore she could’ve married him right there in the middle of the stairwell. She managed to hold off on wedding plans just long enough to follow him to the top of the stairs and down the hall to his bedroom.
It was the same bedroom they’d hung out in many times before, both as kids and as lovers. Typically, she and Jeremy never got intimate in his bedroom when his parents were in the house. It was an unwritten rule, but one they’d never broken since they first got together. That was about to change.
“Kari,” Jeremy said, already short of breath as they stood in his bedroom doorway, “before we go any further, I need to know this will be enough.”
“Enough for what?” she asked. “I already told you this will make this day perfect.”
“It’s not just that. I need to know that this will finally do it. This will help you enjoy Thanksgiving and the holidays once again. I’m serious. I want that for you. I’ve seen how sad and miserable you’ve been during this time of year. I want that to end…and I want to help end it.”
Kari’s emotions temporarily muted her voice. Standing in her lover’s arms, looking into those wonderfully sincere eyes of his, she was once again at a loss. She already knew she was in love with Jeremy, but this moment proved that this was no teenage crush.
Their love was real. Jeremy wasn’t just some guy who got her heart and hormones racing. He wanted to make her life better than it had been. He wanted to share his life with hers. Inviting her family to join his on Thanksgiving was a grand gesture that helped mend her wounded holiday spirit. Even after everything he’d done, he still had enough love to offer one more.
“Jeremy,” Kari said, finally finding her voice, “three years ago, I didn’t think it was possible to enjoy the holidays again. I almost accepted that the painful memories of that day would never leave me.”
“Almost?” he questioned.
“I held out a faint sliver of hope that would one day change,” she said. “I can’t tell you how close I came to losing it. But then you had to be there for me…to help me, hold me, and love me.”
“And I still here,” he said. “I want to keep being there for you.”
“Then help me make a new memory for this holiday…a great memory to cap off a wonderful Thanksgiving with my wonderful boyfriend.”
A heavy silence fell over them. More tears formed in Kari’s eyes, but Jeremy gently wiped them away. He didn’t need to say another word. He looked convinced. There were plenty of other things Kari wanted to tell him after three years of heart-wrenching melodrama, but there was only so much she could put into words.
Tonight, in the spirit of the holidays, she preferred to let her actions do the talking.
“Okay,” he said to her, breaking the silence. “Consider this the ultimate nightcap to a new Thanksgiving tradition…one I hope to share for many years to come.”
“Now, you’re rousing my holiday spirit and making me horny,” she said, managing a joyous smile through the heartfelt tears.
“What can I say? When it comes to loving my girl on the holidays, I like to multitask!”
The mood lightened, but the passions intensified. There were no more reservations. She and Jeremy were going to make love in the waning hours of Thanksgiving.
Having embraced that holiday spirit, Jeremy drew her into a kiss and led her into his bedroom. As soon as he kicked the door shut, their affectionate gestures escalated. The kiss became more heated. As their lips and tongues twirled together, they pawed and caressed one another within their tight embrace. It loosened their clothes while communicating their growing desire.
Before her legs failed her, Jeremy lifted her up in his arms and laid her down on his bed with the utmost care. He quickly joined her atop the soft sheets, but not before slipping his shirt off over his head and removing his belt. When he kissed her again, she pawed his exposed flesh more eagerly, heightening the intimacy every step of the way.
From such intimate contact came more targeted arousal. The heat that started in her heart had found its way to her inner thighs. In the midst of all the kissing and touching, she began undressing as well and Jeremy, like a true gentleman, helped out every step of the way.
“Off! My clothes…get them off!” Kari said.
There was an urgency in her tone. She’d never approached intimacy with such desperation. Even on their prom night, which also happened to be the first time they had sex, she hadn’t been this driven. The circumstances of this fateful Thanksgiving were very different.
Regardless of those differences, Jeremy matched her intensity every step of the way. He worked on getting her pants off while she removed her shirt and bra. They fumbled around a bit, ruffling her hair and messing up the sheets of his bed. That didn’t stop her from getting everything off in record time.
Almost immediately after tossing her panties aside, Kari pulled her lover back into her arms. The feeling of her exposed breasts pressing up against his bear chest triggered more arousal. It also prompted her to get Jeremy as naked as her.
“Kari…my pants,” he said, already breathless.
“Here, allow me,” she said seductively.
With more care and coordination this time, Kari rolled Jeremy over so that he was on his back. Even in the low lighting of his room, she could see a noticeable bulge in his pants. Rather than tease or tempt him, as she often did in the other passionate moments they’d shared, she pulled his pants and boxers off as quickly as her trembling hands allowed. Once off, she tossed them across the room into the pile of wrinkled-up clothes that had accumulated on the bed.
For a brief moment, Kari caught her breath with him as they renewed their heated embrace. Sitting upright in the center of the bed, the air around them thick with desire passion, she gazed into his eyes with a fresh round of simmering emotions. Now unencumbered by clothes, she could feel the full extent of his naked body against hers.
Arousal quickly caught up with their desires. Kari could already feel his manhood pressing up against her thigh, becoming hard and rigid. She made sure he knew how wet she was, guiding his hands over her waist and hips. As he took in the moment with her, she wrapped both arms around his neck and soaked in his loving warmth. She sensed their arousal catching up with
“Jeremy,” she said, “I want this…for me and for us.”
“I want it too,” Jeremy said, his voice laced with desire. “God, I want it so much.”
“Then, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, let’s share it!”
He cast her a beaming smile. It was the perfect sentiment for the perfect day. As much as she’d come to revile that same day in the past three years, Kari saw a clear sign in the eyes of her lover. Her attitude towards Thanksgiving was about to change.
“Share it,” Jeremey repeated in an impassioned, “now, that’s the mark of a renewed holiday spirit!”
She smiled back at him. From there, they followed their passions and a new kind of holiday magic took over.
Jeremy set the tone. He kissed her again, pulled back the sheets of his bed, and led her into the soft linens in which they could nurture an intimate heat. A brief, but heated make-out session followed.
As their lips and tongues became affectionately enmeshed, they touched and explored their naked features. Jeremy felt up her hips, fondled her breasts, and gave her nipples light pinches, which he knew she loved. She returned the favor by rubbing her thigh against his penis and softly trailing her fingers down his back, tickling and tantalizing him to build towards their final union.
That moment came sooner than expected. She and Jeremy were usually inclined to draw out the foreplay. They’d learned on their prom night that they really enjoyed the touching and making out portion of sex. Tonight, however, was different. There was no need to draw it out. Her heart, body, and soul were ready and so was his.
“Jeremy…take me,” she gasped as they got into position.
“Kari…” was all he got out in response.
Like two primal forces being drawn together, she and Jeremy aligned their bodies in anticipation. He remained on top while she remained on her back, spreading her legs and drawing him into her most intimate domain. She could already feel his member pressing up against the outer folds of her womanhood. She’d never wanted to share herself so complete with another human being.
Finally, in the spirit of giving and thanks, her love entered her.
“Oohhh God!” Kari gasped.
In an instant, their bodies merged in literal and figurative melding of passions. He was gentle and careful, as always. He guided his length into her, allowing her folds to stretch and engulf his manly flesh. As soon as their union was complete, the next phase of their holiday miracle commenced.
“I’m so thankful, Kari…thankful for our love,” Jeremy said to her.
“Thankful indeed!” she said with joyous moans.
Their bodies began moving.
Her world began rocking.
Male and female flesh became entwined at its most basic level.
She and Jeremy were officially making love. The heavy emotions that had led to this moment gave way to simpler feelings. They kissed, touched, and caressed as their sexual union morphed into a traditional lover’s dance.
Jeremy started things off slow, working his hips and pelvis to get a rhythm going. As Kari felt his dick slither smoothly inside her vagina, she supplemented his efforts every step of the way. She wrapped her legs around his waist, lifting her hips slightly in conjunction with every thrust. With each movement, sensations of ecstasy cascaded between them. The intangible warmth of Jeremy’s love mixed in with the very tangible sensations that came from their intimate act. It was as beautiful as it was pleasurable.
“Jeremy! Oohhh Jeremy! My love…so thankful,” Kari gasped
Encouraged, as well as impassioned, her lover intensified the pace of their sex. He moved with more urgency, working his body with hers at rate that rocked the bed as hard as it rocked her world. She met that intensity every step of the way, showering him with affectionate gestures and loving kisses.
From there, a perfect harmony of passions unfolded. Kari’s affectionate gestures and loving embrace perfectly complemented Jeremy focused desire and physical efforts. It felt so effortless and seamless, as though their bodies had been perfectly molded to complete one another. Every touch, thrust, and caress brought with it a fresh round of hot sensations, fanning the flames of lust that further empowered the love that fueled it.
As they shared in this harmonious dance, they dared to have a little fun. A moment that had been built on three years of holiday heartache suddenly became a joyous celebration. Under the now-ruffled sheets of the bed, they rolled together like the two reckless youths they still were at heart. She and Jeremy even laughed together as their lovemaking manifested in various forms and positions. They’d learned early on that there was no wrong way to make love. They simply followed the various whims and let their bodies keep up.
Between three years of lingering emotional burdens and energy from a holiday feast, Kari dared Jeremy to make their lovemaking last. As he often did, he rose to the occasion. He stayed with her in the moment, building towards a climax they could share and cherish together. When that moment finally came, she decided to offer one last holiday miracle.
“Jeremy…I’m ready,” Kari whispered into his ear as she neared her peak.
“Me…too,” her lover said, already panting heavily.
“Then, lie back. Let’s share…this final holiday treat…together!”
For the final push, they re-arranged their bodies one last time. This time, Jeremy laid on his back while Kari got on top of him. From that position, with their intimate flesh still entwined, she rode her lover with a focused vigor.
As she gyrated her hips, working his rigid flesh within her depths, she took his hands and enlaced their fingers together. In the dim lighting of the room, their eyes locked. Kari saw his loving eyes looking up at her while she rode him. She gazed back down at him with equal affection, as if to synchronize their passions for that final moment.
When that moment came, it was like the final miracle to complete this very special holiday.
“Ohhh Jeremy!” she cried out.
“Kari! Ohhh God!” Jeremy moaned.
It hit them both like a bolt of heavenly bliss. It was hard to tell who climaxed first, but Kari was fairly certain she got the shared ecstasy going.
As the orgasmic rush consumed her, she squeezed her lover’s hands and held them close to her chest. Within her core, a fireball of bliss erupted and spread out in all direction, rippling through every fiber of her being.
As Kari trembled under the weight of the feeling, she felt her lover descend into an orgasmic state of his own. She watched as his face became awash with ecstasy, his lower body tensing in accord with his release. She could feel his manly flesh throbbing inside her as their intimate fluids mixed together in a physical manifestation of their love. It turned an intangible sentiment into something real, like a gift they could cherish every Thanksgiving they shared together from that point forward.
“I love you, Jeremy,” she said, still holding his hands in hers.
“I love you too, Kari,” he said to her. “I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving.”
“I did, my love! I really, really did!”
The miracle was complete. No more words or sentiments were necessary. As they lingered together in their post-coital daze, Kari gave her lover one last affectionate kiss. It acted as the final dessert for a truly special holiday.
Now drained, physically as well as emotionally, Kari and Jeremy settled in for some much-needed rest. She remained under the covers with him, curled up in his loving warmth, taking in the grandeur of what she’d just shared with her lover.
“I’m so thankful for this…for everything,” she said as she prepared to nod off with her lover.
Three years ago, Kari thought Thanksgiving had been permanently tainted. Her family was broken. Her heart was broken. Her entire world seemed to be falling apart before her eyes. It was the lowest of low points. She thought she would never recover.
Now, three years later, that all changed. Thanks to the love of her family and a very special man in Jeremy Zale, her heart and her holiday spirit had never been stronger. For that, she would always be thankful.
It’s that time of year again. The holidays are almost upon us and we’re at the point where we can no longer complain about people putting their decorations up too early. It’s a wonderful, festive time. I’ve always loved the holidays. I’m usually among the first to put my decorations up, much to the chagrin of family and friends.
The holidays often bring out the best in people. You don’t have to look too hard for examples of that. Some of my fondest family memories have occurred over the holidays. I’ve even shared a few of them. With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I’d like to share another. Once again, it involves my ex-girlfriend.
I’ve shared stories about her before and, by and large, I’ve tried to show her in a positive light. I really enjoyed my time with her while we were together. I’m not at all bitter that we didn’t work out. I like to think that she feels the same way. A few years after we broke up, I found out that she got married and is genuinely happy. I hope I can one day say the same.
This particular story, however, highlights a moment that she doesn’t remember that fondly. As it just so happens, that moment unfolded when she visited my area for Thanksgiving. While I still think it’s funny, I doubt she’ll agree. At the same time, I think she would laugh as well when recalling the details.
It actually occurred after we’d been together for a while. She’d visited my place before. She’d met my family and got along with them quite well. My family is wonderful, warm, and welcoming as a whole, especially around the holidays. We definitely got that point across during previous visits. In hindsight, it might have set the stage for what happened next.
It was the day after Thanksgiving. Typically, after the big meal, we get together with a few relatives and family friends for another gathering not far from where my parents live. It wasn’t as big or crowded as Thanksgiving dinner. It was mostly an excuse for other relatives to meet up, make more food, and catch up after however many months it had been since our last gathering.
While driving her there, I gave her a few details about this side of my family. There weren’t too many caveats or taboos to warn her about. That was a good thing too because she didn’t have much of a filter. She said what was on her mind and did things her own way. That was part of what attracted me to her. Knowing this, I still made one thing clear to her before we arrived.
Do NOT try and pet the cat. He will scratch you and not in a cute way.
I must have told her that at least three times. I was dead serious too. This particular house had a rather notorious cat that a close relative had been caring for. I know cats aren’t known for being social creatures, but this one was a special kind of mean. He didn’t like anyone, except for those who regularly fed him.
I’d seen this cat attack more than a few friends and relatives who didn’t heed that warning. I knew it would be tricky for my ex-girlfriend because she loves animals. She had a pet of her own back home and she never missed an opportunity to interact with them, especially if they were cute. I urged her to make an exception this time. I even tried to distract her from the cat once we arrived.
It was no use. Shortly after we sat down for dinner, the cat wandered near the table. My ex-girlfriend saw him and just couldn’t resist. I warned her again. I told her not to go near him. She didn’t listen. To no one’s surprise, including my own, the cat scratched her the moment she tried to pet him. He scratched her pretty good too. It required a band aid and ointment.
Naturally, she was not happy. While I helped tend to her hand, I couldn’t stop laughing. She thought she could coax some affection out of that cat. I admired her confidence, her heart, and her bravery. It still wasn’t enough.
Much to her credit, she scolded herself more than she scolded me. After all, I did warn her multiple times. She just chose not to listen. She avoided the cat for the rest of the visit. I’m pretty sure that was the first time she despised an otherwise adorable animal. It was jarring and it did affect her mood for the rest of the day.
She still got over it. She even joked about it the next day. It might not have been the most romantic moment we shared during her visit, but it definitely made Thanksgiving more memorable, albeit for unusual reasons.
Moments like that are part of what make the holidays special. They’re also moments that make relationships special, even if they don’t work out. I’m certain that if I ever crossed paths with my ex again, I could tell her the name of that cat and she would remember. She might not remember it as fondly as I do, but I think she’d still laugh at it.
One day, when I meet the love of my life, I hope to make many memories like that. I also hope plenty of them occur on Thanksgiving, but I think I could do without asshole cats.