The best part of Thanksgiving Day is the morning. Chilling in the den or kitchen, that warmish snug feeling (it’s 18 degrees outside as I speak), a coffee or a hot chocolate with a spritz of whipped cream, writing or web surfing, awesome aromas from the kitchen, “Back Street Girl” or one of Bernard Herrmann‘s scores on the Sonos. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Then you leave for the gathering or the gathering comes to you and it’s like “okay, here we go.” Entirely pleasant blah-dee-blah blah. You have to tell yourself not to look at the phone. Then you have to say “no” to nearly everything, to this or that serving or portion size or creamy, gleaming, gravy-covered whatever. The aromas are the best but the food…better to pass. Just say “no,” “no, thanks,” “no, thank you” and “Oh, that looks magnificent but maybe later.” And ignore anyone who likes Trump. Slip into the bathroom to check the phone. Take a walk after dinner. Pretend to watch the football game but focus on your phone. And after four or five hours, guests are allowed to go home.