(TL;DR)

Happy Black Friday Eve, everyone!

At least that is what it feels like anymore.

I understand that business is business and they are in the business of making money, but it is becoming more and more frustrating watching every holiday become nothing more than a corporate pedastal for them to stand on and wave their wares about. Since when is Thanksgiving all about Black Friday? Is it just me, or has it gotten worse over the past few years? I remember when it was all about family and turkey and eating too much and how there is never enough stuffing and how cranberries are nasty. Now it is all about “Black Friday sales!” and “We are starting our sales on Thursday before Black Friday!” Most companies don’t even use the word Thanksgiving anymore, it’s simply another Thursday.

I understand small businesses and locally owned businesses wanting to make money on Black Friday and I am all for that. I am even fine with Corporate American wanting to make money. But don’t do it in place of Thanksgiving. It’s there for more than a day to meet and line up for Black Friday.

And without further ado…

Thank you first and foremost to my wife. She has been the greatest thing to happen to me in the last couple of years. I know that my life was not ending before I had met her, but that is because my life had not yet begun. She is always supportive no matter how crazy my ideas are, she isn’t a “yes man” and will argue her point, but she knows that there are two sides to a story. She loves me like nobody could and appreciates my quirks. She has made me happier than I tought I could ever be.

Thank you to my children. I do not get to see my girls nearly enough and neither of them have a Facebook account, but I do hope that they always know that I love them. They are the light of my life and make me so proud with what they do. They are going to do so many amazing things in life. And to my new children. They are a bundle of joy and always keeping me on my toes. They are so smart that they can almost fool me (but not quite, I was a kid once, too) and are going to grow into great adults as they are great kids.

Thank you to my parents. They put up with so much from me I’m surprised that they aren’t crazy. They raised me the best any parents could possibly raise me. I learned so much from my parents. I am the man that I am today because of them. My mother’s sense of humor and craziness, my father’s vast tank of knowledge and sensibility. I would not be here if it weren’t for you (take that as you will).

Thank you to my sister and her husband. They took me in when I was struggling and let me go when I needed to go. They were incredibly supportive and unselfish and have crazy animals.

Thank you to my niece who replaced my awesomeness in my old home. You are such a bright kid and are going to have a great future.

Thank you to my new parents and family. Family should never have to change but sometimes it does. I got a great extended family this time around. You are all so supportive and helpful, very friendly and willing to take me in and help out whenever necessary. And Sunday dinner’s are almost like those that I miss out on from moving away from home.

Thank you to all of the rest of my family; cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. I was babysat by some of you and babysat some of you myself. I remember night games with my cousins, getting a nail in my foot in the barn, playing playstation all night long while watching my cousins, playing “Scum” all night long. We always had a blast.

Thank you to my friends that I have. Some have been friends who just exist and others are friends who help me exist. Each serving a great purpose.  So many friends, so little time. Thank you all.

There are obviously countless other things and people I can thank. Those in the military, those who gave me a job, those who taught me in school. The list goes on and on.

Thank you everyone who had a part in my life. It is all YOUR fault I am how I am today.

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