''It's finally here,'' I'll proclaim as I awake on Thursday morning, the scent of fresh-brewed coffee filling my senses. There will be an extra bounce in my step that day because, finally, it is Thanksgiving Day.
On the calendar of 365 days, unless it is one of those bizarro years when we are given an extra day just for kicks, Thanksgiving Day is easily in the top three.
Sorry Arbor Day, you didn't make the cut.
Thanksgiving is a day unlike any other. It is a day that we are given the OK to eat as much food as we can possibly stuff into ourselves without the worry of guilt or diet.
It is a day when, after the meal is over and you cannot possibly eat any more, a table full of pies, cookies, cakes and desserts is unveiled like a David Copperfield magic trick.
Suddenly, as if also by magic, the fact that a person has just eaten a full two pounds of mashed potatoes, a cereal bowl's worth of gravy, a hunk of turkey the size of a softball, so much stuffing that you are now indeed stuffed and any number of assorted casseroles, dishes and breads is no longer pertinent.
You have room for sweets! There is always room for some pecan pie, a chocolate chip cookie, a ''small'' slice of apple pie and some of that Jello with pretzels in it.
This is a day when, as you begin to eat and continue to eat, all the while time is slipping unnoticed outside, there is football on all day long.
I am not, and have never been, a fan of either the Dallas Cowboys or the Detroit Lions, but on Thanksgiving I will watch every minute of their games.
Of course, I am being a little ridiculous, but there is a point in all of this somewhere.
I do love Thanksgiving because it is a day that appeals to my favorite things in life: food, football and relaxing.
It has always been a day that I've enjoyed from the days when my family would make the trip to West Virginia to have two Thanksgiving meals in one day with both sides of my family to the days when I would get to come home from college to get my first real homecooked meal in months.
Now, I have a small family of my own and in so, we get to begin our own traditions. For my wife, that means getting to finally, and believe me it is not easy to convince her otherwise, finally getting to put up the Christmas tree.
I can't say that I really enjoy having to lug all that Christmas stuff from the basement, including a tree that weighs far more than it should being made out of plastic and a zillion thin slivers of green whatever those are.
Plus, having just eaten enough to actually kill a less trained man, doing anything more physical than breathing can be a bit of a difficult request.
However, it is what we do and I, secretly, enjoy it very much.
This year, I will have to contend with a 22-month-old child, who is very curious and likes to ''see'' things with his hands, and a dog who is either deaf or brain damaged because either way he doesn't listen to me at all.
But it is always a pleasant sight to see that tree all lit up, the garland and decorations around the house and the outside lights all lit up in preparation for Christmas.
However, as we all head in our separate directions for Thanksgiving and enjoy our meals and games, it is important to think about what it is that you are thankful for this year.
It's a corny thing, I realize, but as a child growing up, we always had to say something that we were thankful for. Back then, I would worry until it was my turn because I didn't want to say something silly or be laughed at for saying that I was thankful for the color blue.
Now I realize that it is a great time to sit back and really take stock in all the things that we are lucky to have and should be thankful every day for having.
Me, I'm thankful for a loving and wonderful family, a wife who is my best friend and someone that I am blessed to be spending my life with; my son, who has taught me so much and continues to amaze me every day; and the friends that are such a special part of our life.
Also, I am thankful for the color blue.
Happy (early) Thanksgiving!