03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Giving Thanks for Pals -- and Palin

With the chaos of the Christmas season beginning earlier and earlier each year (I swear I heard a Chipmunks holiday song playing in some store back in early October and let me just say that they're lucky no firearms were sold there), I know that I am not alone in seeking a few moments of non turkey-related, non Black-Friday related, non-travel related, zen. Just a moment or two of peace and quiet from the holiday shuffle where I can catch my breath, reflect and give thanks for some of the people, places and moments that have helped make life more memorable, bearable or fun, at least in my book. So off the top of my head, here are a few of my faves at the moment:

5) Great American Heroes: Our servicemen and women, and their awesome pets

Why I'm Thankful for them: Because they try to keep us safer -- and through their videos try to keep us smiling too.

Words really can't do justice to the video series of veterans being welcomed home from Iraq and Afghanistan, so I won't even try. I will simply post the link and say to the servicemen who shared them THANKS for your service AND for sharing your awesome pets with the rest of us.

4) Sarah Palin: Former Governor, Vice Presidential candidate and *Bestselling Author
(*I know reading this stings a little -- especially for those of us on this site who fancy ourselves as "real authors," but she did sell 300,000 copies of her memoir in one day which is easily more than most authors on this site combined, yours truly included.)

Why I'm Thankful for Her: Because she's the gift that keeps on giving.

Love her or hate her, something even her toughest critics can't say about her is that she's dull -- or predictable -- which are perhaps two of the biggest crimes a public figure can commit (you know, without being arrested). In a world in which the average politician, CEO, and their families, are stage managed and handled within an inch of their lives, there is something endlessly entertaining about the Warrior-ess from Wasilla and her tribe. To say they are straight out of central casting simply doesn't do them justice because two years ago if anyone had pitched a fictionalized movie on a cougar-ific, moose-hunting, mom of five/governor whose oldest daughter is impregnated by a hockey star turned Playgirl pinup whose mom is headed to the pokey, they would have been laughed out of Hollywood, long before things got to the casting process. You just never know what Palin and her clan are going to say, or do, (as the McCain camp learned the hard way) which means those of us constantly looking for stuff to write about owe Palin a humble THANK YOU.

3) Mad Men: The best show on television (Says who? Says me, that's who! And the Emmys.)

Why I'm Thankful for It: For restoring my faith in the tube.

I had just about given up on television. After a youth spent enjoying what I consider TV's golden age (or my generation's version of it): The Cosby Show, The Golden Girls, Cheers, and the original Law & Order (the Jerry Orbach years) I had finally begun to think that whoever came up with the term "idiot box" was on to something. I'm not sure when the exact moment came that I was ready to throw in the towel, wave the white flag and call it a day but let's just say that Flavor of Love, was definitely a low point (not just for television but for the human race.) The more television turned into "Who-Wants-to-Marry-America's-Biggest-Loser-while-on-Survivor," the more I gave up hope.

Then came Mad Men. The writing. The acting. The wardrobe. The sets.
Wow. Just wow. Well wow, and THANKS to Matthew Weiner (and the rest of the Mad Men cast and crew) for saving us from drifting further into an abyss of cultural idiocy, on a life raft helmed by the likes of Tila Tequila.

2) Bo Obama: The First Dog

Why I'm Thankful for Him: Have you seen him?

What's not to love about Bo Obama? He's adorable and has approval ratings that would probably make any other public figure in Washington (including his own master) jealous. I admit to being a sucker for dogs but every time I see his face it's as though the tension is taken down just a tad regarding whatever contentious political issue is that day's topic of debate, and that is incredibly refreshing so for that -- Thanks Bo!

1) My mom: The best mom in the world.

Why I'm Thankful for Her: See description above.

We're apart this Thanksgiving, and I am incredibly thankful for the wonderful pals I'll be spending the holiday with, but I will miss mom (or momma Goff as some of my friends call her) and her home cooking and just want to say THANKS FOR EVERYTHING MOM.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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