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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Vestal: Enjoy all you’re thankful for on Friday

Sleep in. Stay home.

Take the dog for a walk. Read a book. Watch TV. Pick hunks of turkey off the carcass, standing in the kitchen in your sock feet, fridge door open.

Sleep in. Stay home. Take in a football game. There might be one on. Go crazy with lazy. Or, if you’re inflicted with that particular itch, go crazy with activity – run or ride. Break a sweat. Rake leaves if you can’t help yourself. Stick a finger into that leftover whipped cream, and then try to cover it up.

Read a book to a kid. Try “The Fantastic Mr. Fox.” It’s a wonderful fable about the corrosive, futile path of obsessively protecting your stuff. Try “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Remember how and why the Grinch didn’t steal Christmas.

Stay home. Sleep way in, if you can. Wake up and happily consider those who made other choices. Go back to sleep, if the house allows it. Have one of those strange, surreal dreams that sometimes accompany catch-up sleep. Wake up and try to tell someone about it. Try to make them understand.

Go the whole damn day without a shower. Have a drink earlier than you otherwise might. Have a drink, if you want to, with your breakfast pie. Leave the dishes in the sink.

Play a board game. Get up a Texas Hold ’Em tournament and go all in on your uncle. Play charades. Play Trivial Pursuit. Play. Sit in front of the TV or the game thingy or whatever, and play those games – those amazing games, those violent games, those spectacular three-dimensional video games that continually stun us children of Pong. Play them way longer than you should.

Dink around on your phone. Dink around on your tablet. Dink around on your computer. Dink around in the kitchen, with the fridge door open, in your sock feet, considering.

Dink around. Waste time. Step outside in your sock feet and test the weather. Step back in. Pick bits of sausage out of the leftover stuffing.

Perhaps you have houseguests. Perhaps you are a houseguest. Entertain each other. Teach the kids backgammon. Teach a kid to tie his shoe. Tell stories. Get in the car and go somewhere where nothing is for sale. A river, say.

Sleep in. Stay home. Read a book. Get down a book you loved and read it again. Consider the joy of the revisited book – remembering, reliving, deepening. Read it lying down somewhere, if your house allows it, and when you’ve read your fill, rest it on your belly and sleep.

Put on some music. Play some music. Plink at your guitar. Teach a kid chopsticks on the piano app on your groovy new tablet.

Consider the wave of charitable enthusiasm that has just peaked and passed once again. Consider the wave of charitable enthusiasm that will peak again in the weeks to come, and pass again just as surely. Consider your own home and your own comfort, and see how your thankfulness is holding up.

Consider how much your thankfulness has to do with what’s already right there around you, if you’re lucky, as most of us are. Consider how little it has to do, if you’re lucky, with the press and crush of getting.

Consider the ironies enfolded in the fact that we have now deemed the day after Thanksgiving a “black” day. Consider a time when stores did not open late at night on Thanksgiving, because early, early, early in the morning was early enough. Consider a time – a distant era, full of strange creatures and customs – when stores did not open at all on certain days, when they did not beg you to resume purchasing before the turkey had even cooled.

However many shopping days remain, it will be enough. Sleep in. Stay home. The time for that is fleeting.

Shawn Vestal can be reached at (509) 459-5431 or Follow him on Twitter at @vestal13.