I’m a total sap for this time of year. What can I say? I get all soggy with nostalgia over the brightly colored leaves, mulled ciders, and communal over-feasting. This is a time when we bask in the glow of our nearest and dearest, saving up all that human warmth for the fast-approaching winter.
I savor every second of it.
I decorate my kitchen with gourds.
I rake leaves even though I live in the city and don’t actually have a yard.
I step outside in the morning wearing dungarees and a cardigan sweater, I wink at the glinting sun, and I breathe in the crisp autumnal bouquet, invigorated like a man in a soap commercial.
Autumn is my happy place, and I think a big part of it is the promise of Thanksgiving, the great harvest feast, the climax of a season already sweetened by costumes, candy, and cranberry sauce. It’s about more than the holiday, the family, the friends, the football, and all the things that I’m endlessly grateful for.
It’s also about the fact that Thanksgiving is a four-day oasis in the midst of your busiest season, the extended weekend that gives you the juice you need to get through the rest of the semester. My apologies to those of you who have to work on Black Friday. Your employers are jerks.
If I could bring every one of you a plate of stuffing and a slice of pumpkin pie at work, I would. It’s just not logistically possible. There is one thing I can do for you though. I can make you a mix.
I know what you’re thinking. You can’t eat that.
No, but you’ve got four days ahead of you (plus Wednesday night, and I know you have plans). Anyway, four days off probably means at least one late night out with friends, some amount of time spent prepping food, maybe a friendly game of “rough-touch” football with some old high school mates, at least one (possibly two) massive family feasts, and—if you’re into this sort of thing—bargain hunting in the midst of holiday-inspired retail pandemonium.
There’s a lot to cram into your precious time off. And you really should find a few minutes to relax too. The last month of the semester looms ahead with the promise of finals just around the corner.
You need the right music to make it through your holiday weekend, and it should simultaneously strike a balance between the inspiriting tint of autumn, and the sheer variety of sounds needed to accompany you through your cornucopia of holiday activities.
I made you just such a mix.
Feel free to steal my playlist, add to it, subtract from it, and make it your own. Thanksgiving is all about your family’s tradition. If your family’s tradition is to blast Kid Rock’s “Bawitdaba” at top volume while you carve your turkey with a hedge-trimmer, who am I to judge (out loud, anyway)? So, yeah. If this playlist does the job for you, listen as is, either straight through or on shuffle. If you have your own ideas about what should and shouldn’t be here, take this playlist and its accompanying instruction manual as a starting point for your own perfect holiday mix.
And of course, Happy Thanksgiving to all! Get some rest, eat way too much, and we’ll see you after the break.