From the View of A Pepper Shaker

"Yeah! It's finally Thanksgiving!" shouts Salty, practically hopping up and down in his excitement, "I do love Thanksgiving!"

"Bah humbug," the cranberry jelly bowl grumbles, "I hate holidays. Nobody eats me anyways." He continues mumbling under his breath as he waddles away from the energized salt.

As for me, I enjoy Thanksgiving. Most of the other dishes think of Thanksgiving as one big popularity contest, but I disagree. I am more fascinated by the people than the other dishes. The gravy boat, the winner of the "Most Enjoyed" award every year, says I am just being a bad sport because as the peppershaker, I often cause bad reactions and never win any awards. It's not true though. The violent sneezing reactions that haunt my every move are just a perk of the job really. It is so rewarding to see a person break into a sneezing fit. It gets me every time. Salty says I'm cruel for laughing at such misfortunes, but really it's not my fault. I didn't ask to be used. I hate being flipped over because it leaves such an unpleasant feeling in my stomach. Salty says it's like his own personal roller coaster, but I beg to differ. It's actually a most horrid sensation.

Anyway, I'm getting off topic. Thanksgiving dinner is quite an affair in our humans' house. They have all of their family over. Grandma and Grandpa come from Las Vegas. Auntie Liz and Uncle Harris fly in from Arizona. That's just the beginning of the family too. Aunts and uncles call with food requests. Cousins arrive with bags of toys to play with. Everyone puts aside his or her work to come together and eat in harmony. Mother cooks for hours with the help of the other Grandma, who lives just down the street. Father and little Danny clean up the garden, while Jilly and Ann clean the house from top to bottom. The whole house smells delectable as a cornucopia of pots and pans bubble in the kitchen. The men congregate in the family room around the wide screen television to watch football. Jilly runs upstairs with little cousin Sarah and the other little girls to play dollies and dress up. Danny grabs a football to toss with cousin Sam from Arizona and second cousin Louis in the backyard. Sam has brought his girlfriend and the teenage girls talk of movie stars and makeup. Father tries to carve the turkey, while Grandpa and Aunt June stand around him telling him how to do it better.

All of this family bonding is good and well, but I'm not in my element until the expensive holiday china is set on the table.

"Everyone! The food is ready! Come sit down!" chirps Mother as she unties her checkered apron. She chooses a seat near the kitchen as the rest of the family choose seats near their favorite people. It changes every year. As the official Thanksgiving historian, it is my job, as an unpopular addition to the Thanksgiving table, to note the subtle nuances of the bizarre human culture. I notice that Jilly has forsaken Sarah, her old favorite cousin, for Betsy the cousin from Colorado. Sam is sitting next to his girlfriend. I can tell that their hands are intertwined beneath the table. I take mental note of all these details. Now, I have saved the best for last. There, next to Mother, is Las Vegas Grandma, already nodding off a little. I chuckle a little to myself. Last year, she fell asleep in her salad. Hopefully she chooses a softer side dish this year.