Maybe it's because I love food so much. Perhaps it is due to the fact that I enjoy watching that giant balloon-infested parade. Heck, it might just be for the simple reason that I get a day off of work. Whatever the reason might be, I love Thanksgiving.
What is Thanksgiving, you ask? Well, if you live here in these good ol' United States of America, Thanksgiving is supposed to be a day where the citizens of our country reflect on all that they have in their lives and are thankful for it. For some like myself, that thanks traditionally goes to God.
Many people argue over when the holiday was first celebrated in this country, but most people are at least familiar with the Pilgrim celebration of the holiday in which they thanked God for a bountiful harvest, a relatively safe new home, and decent bonds with the natives of the New World that they were now living in.
Unfortunately, Thanksgiving has taken a massive hit from the two major holidays that bookend it and has nearly been relegated to second-class holiday status. When Halloween rolls around, people get all excited about dressing up as their favorite ghoul, goblin, fantasy character or a sexy variation of such things. Stores are littered with all sorts of costumes that range from simple masks to very intricately detailed replicas of famous monsters and other pop culture icons. (The so-called sexy nurse, cop, angel, etc. phenomenona has always amazed me about contemporary Halloween, but that's for another review).
Even during this time of spooks and spectres, though, the shopper will often come across hints of that other holiday that poses the largest threat to Thanksgiving's importance: Christmas. I've personally been shopping in stores in late September and early October, looking for the newest Halloween offerings and have happened across plenty of Christmas merchandise. Granted, most of it is usually of the peppermint-scented candle and red-and-white Christmas tree decorations variation, but as Halloween gets closer, more and more Christmas merchandise starts to muscle its way onto the shelves. By the week of Halloween, shoppers can pick up Nativity scenes, more ornaments, tree dressing, and even those silly dancing Santas and snowmen.
Once Halloween has passed, the real onslaught begins. On November 1st, the Halloween leftovers are literally packed onto one clearance aisle somewhere in the deep dark recesses of stores and Christmas explodes all over the rest of the shopping world. Christmas trees, life-sized reindeer, Christmas-themed clothing, Christmas stockings, all sorts of Christmas-themed candies, movies, toys, etc. all find their way onto the racks and aisles of the stores. Of course, I'm not even mentioning the talk of Black Friday or all of the latest toys, gadgets, and luxuries that are sure to be the hit of the holiday season.
Meanwhile, there's usually one or two aisles set aside for lowly Thanksgiving. It's usually somewhere near the Halloween clearance aisle or if it's a department store, next to the grocery section. You'll find some turkey-shaped dishes, a few brown and orange napkins, and overpriced tableclothes with cornucopias printed on them. You might also see a display featuring turkeys and/or dressing. That's it. Nothing more to see.
Of course, two groups have found Thanksgiving to be a big moneymaker for them: Grocery stores and the NFL. Grocery stores are an obvious choice. Why? Thanksgiving means food, lots of it, and grocery stores use this to their advantage. They stock freezers with turkeys, hams, and, at least down here in Louisiana, the very tasty TurDuckHen, which is literally a stuffed chicken packed inside a stuffed duck packed inside a stuffed turkey.
The NFL might not be such an obvious choice, but they've managed to make Thanksgiving day football a centerpiece of the football season and the holiday season. Thanksgiving day games are heavily promoted before the NFL's season even starts, and grocery stores (as well as all of the chip, beer, and soda companies) latch onto this newfound holiday tradition of sitting around the tube and watching pro football teams slug it out after a long day of eating way too much.
Despite the support of the NFL and grocery stores, though, Thanksgiving still has to fight for space with Christmas. Why? Because grocery stores start selling Christmas cookies, cakes, and other Christmas goodies immediately after Halloween (and even before Halloween in some cases) just like department stores do. On game day, er, I mean, Thanksgiving, while football games are played out on the television, the viewer is bombarded by Christmas and Black Friday commercials and even a visit from Old Saint Nick.
Heck, even the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade is capped off by that other holiday when Santa Claus arrives on the final float of the parade!
In short, Thanksgiving is quickly becoming a second rate holiday. I don't want to see this happen. Thanksgiving is a time when families are supposed to get together, be thankful for what they have, and enjoy each other's company. If we eat too much or party just a little too hard, oh well, at least we're doing it together. It shouldn't matter that most companies or stores (excepting food companies and grocery stores) aren't going to make a huge profit off of Thanksgiving. What should matter is that we are with our loved ones.
Christmas and Halloween succumbed to commercialism a long time ago. They've become nothing more than vehicles to make big profits for stores and the companies that fill their shelves. While I see nothing wrong with making a profit, I feel as if we are cheating ourselves of the rich traditions and meaning of these holidays in the pursuit of a buck. Thanksgiving, due in part to its lack of profitability for most companies, still has a chance to be a celebration of family and friends and not of the almight dollar.
Help me save Thanksgiving, folks. Let's make it a Thanksgiving to remember. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
T H A N K S G I V I N G !!! Isn't that the time you've eggnog and turkey? I wonder how that comes about. We have thanksgiving celebrations in a few countries but I have yet known anyone who celebrates Thanksgiving! At least I've not been invited to one such dinner party before. So, what business do I have to start writing a review on this topic? What business indeed! I do know a thing or two about thanksgiving. That's why! :-) … more
I love Thanksgiving. This will be the first time that Fernando and I will be on our own, so we've decided to do some good. We'll be feeding friends on Tuesday for a friends' Thanksgiving and feeding the homeless on Thanksgiving Day. My favorite part of this holiday is sitting around a table and giving thanks for what we're grateful for in our crazy lives. It forces everyone to slow down, take stock of the last year and spend a moment or two in gratitude. … more
Thanksgiving day is a good family time in the year to thank all that have lived around with us. The time that i lived in the united states of america I think enjoy this beautiful tradition. Initially I thought that this day meant the gratitude of Europeans to American Indians. Althought many belive was a land grabbing, I think it's best that could happen in the meeting of two cultures. I liked to visit my friends and each one cook something special. I cook for them a Mexican dish called … more
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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Thanksgiving Day is a harvest festival. Traditionally, it is a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude in general. It is a holiday celebrated primarily in Canada and the United States. While religious in origin, Thanksgiving is now also identified as a secular holiday.
The date and location of the first Thanksgiving celebration is a topic of modest contention. Though the earliest attested Thanksgiving celebration was on September 8, 1565 in what is now Saint Augustine, Florida, the traditional "first Thanksgiving" is venerated as having occurred at the site of Plymouth Plantation, in 1621.
Today, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November in the United States and on the second Monday of October in Canada. Thanksgiving dinner is held on this day, usually as a gathering of family members and friends.