Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Thanksgiving State of Mind

Are you going on Thanksgiving Day
To those family celebrations?
Passing on knowledge down through the years
At the gathering of generations
Every year it's the same routine
All over, all over
Come on over, it's Thanksgiving Day
"Thanksgiving Day" Ray Davies, singer/songwriter

I love Thanksgiving. It’s a day of stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, corn, rolls, pecan pie, and pumpkin pie. Images of Norman Rockwell abound as families come together for a communal meal. It’s a day of tradition in North America where we give thanks to the conclusion of harvest season (I suppose today it’s more like coming to the end of the tax season).

Thanksgiving is better than Christmas or Hanukkah because it is generally a two-day holiday because many companies seem to give the Friday after as an unofficial holiday. Christmas is one day at best, half day for Christmas Eve, and no days off for Hanukkah (that doesn’t seem fair). So, basically, Turkey Day becomes a four-day holiday.

Does Thanksgiving apply to the preparation or the meal? The holiday lasts only an hour if it is the meal, once the dinner is over the day is done until next year. It’s rather anticlimactic to realize that the hours and days of preparation and presentation just end up as a pile of dirty dishes and a week’s worth of leftovers. In reality it’s shorter than Christmas because at least kids can play with their
toys and adults can admire their new gift cards once everything has been unwrapped, but thanksgiving leaves everyone feeling stuffed, sleeping or nauseous.

Friday morning becomes a race to department stores for early morning discounts. Reporters and television cameras line up at the stores to in order to catch a glimpse of the hordes stampeding over the weaker or unfortunate who slip while greedily racing to grab whatever discount the first 50 shoppers receive for making a spectacle of themselves. Saturday and Sunday the relatives start packing up to go home with memories of another holiday that will only improve as the memory gets hazy.

It seems to me that Thanksgiving is more a state of mind than anything else.

9 comments:

B2 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

On The Mark says: I used to feel the same way until my dad died a couple years ago. It's still a special day with my mom, but it's just not the same without dad cutting the turkey, giving the toast, and sitting with him out on the patio with a beer talking about old times.

The Misanthrope said...

OTM, I am not as enamored with any of the holidays. It's not the same as when you are young, which is why it is really just a state of mind. It's just a day off.

Anonymous said...

On the Mark says: Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday because it's not tied to gifts, mass celebrations (e.g., New Year's or July 4). It's all about family. But life carries on. This will be my first Thanksgiving with a child in the family, and I hope that in 11 years or so, when he's in college, he'll look forward to coming home for Thanksgiving.

B2 said...

Wow, I can no longer even post comments to my own blog. [sigh]

The Misanthrope said...

B2, not when they point out my mistakes for all to see.

Jack's Shack said...

I rather enjoy these four days. But you won't find me anywhere close to a mall, at least not on Friday.

Dusty said...

To me it is also just another day. And to top it off, I must cook a massive meal that I will have to eat for a week in some form.

Crass commercialism killed the 'holiday's for me quite some time ago.. :(

The Misanthrope said...

Hi Jack, You never fail to show your intelligence.

Hi Dusty, I still like the day itself, but all the surrounding nonsense I can do without.