5. Macy’s. The Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade is a surefire way to start the season off right, unless you’re Barney. The cursed float tore its side on a lamppost in 1994. Three years later police stomped and stabbed the purple dinosaur to protect the crowd after the float lost control in high winds.
4. “Alice’s Restaurant.” Arlo Guthrie’s anti-war anthem makes hilarious background music for any turkey dinner. It’s one of the few 18-minute ballads to be played in its entirety on the radio. “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” is a close second, but lacks the holiday whimsy of course.
3. Charlie Brown. From It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown to A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Peanuts capture the innocence of the season. In fact, the old blockhead has starred in more than 50 films and television specials, including a tribute to Arbor Day.
2. Adam Sandler. The modern-day voice of the Jewish holiday, Sandler references some 63 real and fictional Jewish and not-so-Jewish celebs in his three-part ballad, the “Chanukah Song.” My personal favorite: Don Messick, “the guy who does the voice for Scooby Doo.”
1. Women for Women International. During the 2009 season of giving, Oprah made popular this charity, which connects women in war-torn areas like the Congo with the resources and inspiration they need to live a fuller life. Remember to give from the heart this year, even in the face of our nation’s worst recession. Even if it’s just a warm smile to someone in need.