Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thanksgiving: A Made-up Holiday

I realize there is some kind of historical context for Thanksgiving, but I view it as a made-up holiday that just invites stress into our lives. Don't get me wrong--I love the food, the football, the days off. However, I don't attach any great emotional significance to it. Christmas is the big one for us; one that has faith traditions to share with our children and a meaning much larger than being thankful for family and the like. However, people seem to get stressed to such an absurd level over this day. And the shopping orgy the next day is just sickening. Like the stores won't have great deals all throughout the season. A holiday about giving thanks has turned into the prelude to the grossest display of materialism on earth.

Sorry for ranting; I just had to get that off my chest.

You may all commence with frantic cooking and cleaning and mapping out a shopping strategy if that is your thing. Or not. I'm of the not variety; avoiding hosting for as long as possible.

7 comments:

  1. Rob loves Thanksgiving, and its mostly because we do it pretty low key -- people come over here, but everyone brings a dish, so I am not stuck with all the cooking. PLus, we NEVER, EVER upon pain of death, go shopping on Black Friday.(We are old school about Christmas decor, too. We don't put lights up on the day after Thanksgiving, or before, like my neighbors. We start talking about Advent.) Usually Rob has to be at the hospital for work (for at least part of the day) and the kids and I just hang out together. I asked Rob once why he loves T-giving so much and he had a two-fold answer: a) there are NO GIFTS involved, just people being together and b) his parents emigrated to this country in the late 60's, and not being American citizens, they were new to the whole T-giving thing, but they just thought it was better than sliced bread that there was a day for people to be at home and give thanks for all of the blessings they had received that year. And they always counted coming to America as one of those blessings. (but they were very low-key about it as well, no football or shopping or anything.)
    I like that we can carry on that kind of spirit with our T-givings, or at least try to carry on in the face of encroaching commercialism. ("Rage, rage against the dying of the light!")

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  2. We aren't big fans of the made up holidays. We do enjoy Thanksgiving, but don't get emotional about it. We also don't go out and shop on Friday. I'd rather pay extra than fight all of those insane crowds!!

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  3. Stephanie1:22 PM

    Yeah, we are pretty thumbs down for T-giving. This year we are going to my aunts... only because we haven't seen the fam in a while... and we are anti-social for Christmas, so we get it out of the way at T-giving. And like Aimee, we don't do any shopping the day after and certainly don't listen to Christmas music/hang lights until much later!

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  4. I love going to church on Thanksgiving and keeping the day stress free. I will confess, however, to participating in the "shopping orgy" at 3 a.m. the following morning. (Or rather, shoving hubby out of bed so he could get what I've prepicked. Then, he crawls back in bed so we can avoid shoppers the rest of the day.) This year, I'm thinking I might try and curb the temptation.

    I will try. :)

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  5. Oh, I LOVE Thanksgiving. I freely admit it. I think it's a beautiful holiday that focuses on family and remembering how blessed we are. And I don't think it's any more contrived than any other holiday besides Christmas and Easter... and certainly more beautiful than most.

    It's true that sometimes we get too caught up in family DRAMA to focus on family FUN, but I guess that's never really been an issue in my house, so it's never tainted my feelings about the day. And the frantic cleaning and cooking are done with such love and laughter that it's a labor of love that really means something to me. I love love love it.

    It might be my favorite holiday.

    As for the shopping... I agree that it can be... ahem... extreme. When a woman gets trampled in a WalMart, you're never seeing the best side of humankind. I will 'fess up and say that I choose one shop every year that has a gift I want to give someone or something I would otherwise not be able to afford and trek out early to get a good deal. One store is usually all I try to tackle before heading home to snuggle back in for the day. I think that, too, is good harmless fun. :)

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  6. Okay, I know I sounded like a cranky old person. I do truly enjoy the extra time with family. I just see so many people overwhelmed by it all and I don't like that family treats it like the most important thing ever. I'm just cranky. Sorry.

    You all have lovely thoughts and feelings about T-giving and I will try to share those. Thanks!

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I'm dying to know what you have to say, so talk already! Thanks!