On Thanksgiving 2011, as you sit down to a plate full of caloric and delicious goodness, consider what you have to be thankful for -- as a country music fan -- this year. 2011 saw lots of exciting musical moments, and some are reason enough to count your blessings.

Since 'American Idol' is more often than not packed full of pop hopefuls, we all rejoiced when deep-voiced Josh Turner soundalike Scotty McCreery made it into the competition and then demolished every round, eventually winning the big trophy back in May. Looking back at that now on Thanksgiving 2011, it's true that his career has been short so far, but boy has it been fruitful. The 18-year-old Garner, N.C. native has already released a full-length album that churned two Top 40 singles. 'I Love You This Big' and 'The Trouble With Girls' have seen unbeatable success, but what's truly unreal is the fact that this newcomer walked onto the scene and made history his debut album. McCreery's 'Clear as Day' made him the first country singer in history to premiere a first release at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart.

But McCreery isn't the only one who's made us thankful on this Thanksgiving 2011! Remember earlier in the year when we caught wind that Miranda Lambert was starting an all-girl group? She -- as well as her partners in crime, Ashley Monroe and Angaleena Presley -- first walked onto the stage as Pistol Annies back in April, and to quote Kenny Chesney, they had us from hello. The girls released a killer album with 'Hell on Heels' (named for the sexy single) at the end of a summer, and we can't think of a better reason to count our lucky stars on Thanksgiving 2011.

Or can we? Speaking of Lambert, she officially became Mrs. Lambert-Shelton when she said "I do" to fellow country hitmaker Blake Shelton earlier this year. Shelton and Lambert are each spark plugs in their own right, but put together they're 100% fireworks. It's easy to agree that Lambert and Shelton are the most made-for-one-another couple in today's country music, and their cute factor just makes us thankful this Thanksgiving 2011 that true love does exist.

2011 has been plentiful, but 2012 will bring a tour from the king himself, George Strait. We're so thankful that George announced a tour supporting his ‘Here for a Good Time’ album that will kick off next year and that he's taking Martina McBride on the road with him. On Thanksgiving 2011, when we sit down to a mountain of mashed potatoes, turkey and stuffing, we'll be picturing ourselves rocking out to some new hits and old classics -- live!

But the only thing that could be better than a Strait tour is a two-fer. Two of country music's hottest stars, Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw, will reunite and hit the road together for the the Brothers of the Sun Tour next summer. Great music aside, the pair are great friends, too, and we're sure that being side by side will only highlight their best efforts out on the open road.

Thanksgiving 2011 is definitely a year for country music fans to be thankful! What are you most thankful for this year? Lambert's love story? McCreery's singles? McGraw's tour? As you slice the veggies and butter up the bird, be thinking about what country music has brought in 2011 that makes you feel blessed.