THANKSGIVING IS NOT EVERYONE’S HOLIDAY

For the past few years, there has been an increasing clamor to make everything shut down for Thanksgiving, supposedly so everyone can spend time with their family. Nice, well-meaning sentiment, on the face of it. Except for all the people who don’t have families with whom to celebrate. Or who are estranged from (or just plain don’t like) their family, what about them? Are you making their lives better? Do they want the day off? Did you ask any of them?

And then, there are Native Americans who don’t think celebrating the arrival of armed Europeans who would steal their land, infect them with diseases, and try in every way they could to murder all of them, is something to celebrate. Or the struggling families who count on extra money from working holidays to help them survive.

rockwell-thanksgiving-glutton

Everyone doesn’t celebrate the same way. Or want to. Some folks prefer to work holidays. They would rather work than sit around their empty rooms feeling left out of America’s favorite dinner party and maybe need the extra pay. Or they don’t like Thanksgiving, for whatever reason — and it is their right to feel that way.

I understand the sentiment, where it’s coming from. To me, it’s one more example of how we try to force everyone to march in lock step. As if we are all the same or at the very least, we all should be. Above all, we should want to be.

I would appreciate it if you righteous people would shut up already. This is a diverse country. That’s not just something we say during an election year. It’s a real thing. As a nation, we supposedly treasure diversity as much as any other freedom. So let’s leave a little room for people to express their differences as well as their similarities, shall we?

We do not all need (or want) to eat turkey. With or without gravy.

49 thoughts on “THANKSGIVING IS NOT EVERYONE’S HOLIDAY

  1. That was well said, although I am a European, so really none of my business. A few thoughts are expressed which I must share, thinking did the folk living in the States before being liberated really want to be liberated and are they thankful? By the way I read today that Nigel Farage is thinking about emigrating to the States. He is annoyed as it seems that the British do not want him to become the next Ambassador to the States.

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    • These big eat-till-you-explode holidays are not very alluring at our age. Not only can’t we eat that much, but all that fatty stuff and the gravy and desserts … Garry and I really don’t EAT that much. Ah well. And my Native friends are very not interested in celebrating having once prevented the white people from starving. Wondering (I would be) if maybe generosity was their first, fatal mistake.

      Not sure who Farage is, though I’ve heard the name. But if he’s a sore loser and has bizarre political ideas, he’ll fit right in here.

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      • How right you are. My problem is that I am the only one to cook them, although Mr. Swiss does help. I only have one son at home and my other is too far away to pop over, although we will see each other sometime between Christmas and New Year.
        Nigel Farage is a difficult case to explain. He was the leader of the UKIP United Kingdon Independent Party and got quite popular in England by those who still lived in the good old days, like when America was a colony. Anyhow he was the first to congratulate the president elect and was even invited to say a few words at one of his appearances. Now he seems to be the British adopted son of he whose name will not be mentioned here, and has high hopes. Unfortunately the british government do no see it that way, and so Nigel is disappointed. At the moment some british mistaken politicians find that it would be a good idea to make Nigel a lord. In the meanwhile I read today that he is thinking about moving house to the States. Most of the British politicians have already stated that they have no interest in meeting the new man at the White House – who knows. Otherwise you can look Nigel Up in Internet to get the complete joke.

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  2. We go to Thanksgiving every year, because the family expects us. I really don’t care, nor does my husband, even though they are his cousins and families, and they would be truly disappointed if we backed off.
    I enjoy the meal, and the people, but its also a 90 minute drive NORTH, into the mountains, and 19 people (six little kids) and two dogs. We are in our early 70s now, and after a day of babies and dogs and too much food and too much of everything, as much as I love them, I just want to come home and move furniture.

    Im also part Indian, which makes me not quite as enthralled as I should be about it all. Kowabunga, dude.

    Not only that, I have no idea about how political these folks might be; its like religion, not something we discuss much and i do hope it doesnt come up.

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    • My big consolation is (a) my son and his partner live only 4 miles away and (b) they are gay. So I’m pretty sure where his politics aren’t. My granddaughter is still unsure who won the election. Previously, she wasn’t sure who was running. Her mother is maybe a little less aware than she. Not a political hot spot, so we are unlikely to get sideswiped. Still, I’d rather stay home, watch the parade and the dog show. Especially the dog show. I LIKE dogs. Huge meals at our age, doesn’t have the allure they may have once done. At least I’m not cooking it … or worse, cleaning up afterwards.

      I got the early wake-up call “Mom? Do you have a table cloth?” I’m waiting for the followup. “Could you bring the gravy bowl? The ladle? Maybe a serving platter … or two? And how long do I need to steam the asparagus? Oh and don’t forget the meat thermometer.

      Ay ay, captain.

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      • well, thank you, Garry. I do like them all, heck i’ve known his two older cousins most of my life, and their mother was a close friend of mine. But there are just So Many. each of them had two kids, and three of the kids married, and each pair had two kids. It does add up.

        And it turns out that since his mother died, we are the oldest ones there, usually. That is a bit unsettling.

        New Hampshire is a state that pretty much keeps it’s views to itself. I’ve noticed that no one seems to give a rip what religion you are, or who you voted for. It may come up on polite conversation, but only as a passing event. I know people who view their vote for ANYONE as a sacrosanct and personal process, and will tell you so. =)

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  3. I do not have any family here so I would work today, if there was work. Instead I will stay in as I have a bad cold anyway. I wonder what is the difference between running to the store for sales or shopping online all day. You are not with your family either way, unless you drag them to the mall with you.

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  4. Good evening Marilyn, hope you still remember me…. I bet you very well because I have been remembering you for all the past months while i was away. Lot has been changed in my life. Tarun got posted to a new location. I was alone for two months since couldn’t shift my son mis session. He had left three months before, I packed my stuff, resigned from my school last month, left my beautiful house, friends and garden with heavy heart and finally joined him 15 days before. Still in settling mode. All the while i was thinking about you guys but had to surrender my landline connection and in absence of wifi at times it is difficult to connect since mobile data is not that strong to upload wp site. Hopefully I will be able to read your posts now onwards. How is Garry? Missed you and others a lot. Regards

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  5. When I was a kid, we didn’t have this thing called “Black Friday”, or if we did, I don’t remember it being the dog and pony show it is today. What I remember about Thanksgiving was having family over, having a huge dinner, and then sitting around for the rest of the day wondering what to do next. Sometimes, we went to the movies. Sometimes we went to the store. Because we could.

    As an adult, I sometimes worked in retail and “Black Friday” grew into the monster it was today. But I worked in places like gas stations and such so we didn’t have to worry about such nonsense. But we worked on Thanksgiving… because people needed gas no matter what day it was. Anyone who worked that day volunteered. As you said, not everyone celebrates the same way. And some people need the money more than the turkey. It’s really as simple as that.

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    • I’m in a post holiday fugue. I didn’t do ANY cooking or clean up, but I feel like I need a week of sleep to catch up. They’ve simply passed a law in Massachusetts shutting all the retail store for the entire day of Thanksgiving. I don’t shop on Black Friday. I don’t shop much any time of the year I have discovered, late in life, that I don’t like shopping. maybe if I were a lot richer?>

      Right now, I think I need a nap!

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    • WSCOTT, I worked many Thanksgiving holidays. Usually covering stories about dinner for the homeless, space-heater generated fires, traffic snafus, the odd murder, here and there. The Perps had standards, taking the day off to be with loved ones. The day was usually celebrated with dinner at the local Chinese Restaurant. Very much like the last scene in “A Christmas Story”.

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  6. Pingback: THANKSGIVING IS NOT EVERYONE’S HOLIDAY — SERENDIPITY | Willow's Corner

  7. I don’t mind solitary holidays. I think I prefer them to sitting around a crowded table while people jockey for identity and status, and someone gets drunk and loudly dominates the conversation, and there’s a ton of very heavy food that I don’t really like. I don’t think holidays are really FOR introverts like me who are exhausted by that kind of social contact not energized, not pleased, don’t end up feeling “loved” and wanted, but instead end up feeling weird and disoriented.

    I actually think I’d be happy if there were NO holidays, but people just got time off because they need it. I’d like to see everyone get a month-long paid summer vacation and two weeks off in winter to go skiing (or whatever). People could always have parties if they want to, but there’d be no polemics about “put the Christ back in Christmas” or “What do you say if someone wishes you a Merry Christmas and you’re an atheist?” no “Black Friday” or polemics about Indians and Puritans and all that — what happened, happened. I’m interested in where we go NOW (and I think everyone else should be, too, honestly). I like very much the TRUE story of Thanksgiving, but it doesn’t interest people.

    But there are always Lamont and Dude and the VERRRRRRYYYY long view.

    All this being said, I wish you and Garry a lovely day. 🙂

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  8. well said and I must agree…………..although in Australia we do not celebrate this day, but in all honesty I think giving thanks for a year of ‘whatever’ makes more sense these days than Christmas. Don’t get me wrong I love the time off work, spent lazing around or travel, family and friends……..I also love turkey, but the meaning of Christmas really ‘means’ nothing to me. I would rather give thanks for everything I have

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  9. I remember the days when only the 24 hour convenience type stores were open on Thanksgiving (Or Christmas and Easter)… and you know what, they were packed. Their business boomed on those days because everyone else was shut down and people still want access to retail services on holidays. And you know who’s patronizing those businesses on Thanksgiving…. the same people who like to bitch that they might be expected to work a holiday at some point in time. Nevermind the guy behind the counter who’s allowing everyone to satisfy their Big Gulp craving… just so long as I get my precious holidays off!

    And let’s not forget those Black Thurs….. er, Friday shoppers who bitch and moan and whine that they HAVE to get to the stores at 6 PM on Thanksgiving evening now to fight a total stranger for a piece of junk laptop that’s so outrageously cheap, it can’t possibly work. Nobody’s dragging anyone away from the Thanksgiving table…. stay at home if family means more to you than useless junk! The only way to rein in the monster Black Thanksgiving has become is for the throngs to STOP SHOWING UP FOR IT! And at least until the day 3-D printing comes along to make online shopping as instantly gratifying as heading to the brick and mortar, that ain’t gonna happen because while we may be diverse in some ways, we are also a people who are infested with common sheep…

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    • I always think when I read those rants about how we are keep families from being together … “and how many of you are at the doors when they open so you can buy that big screen TV at a 10% discount?” It’s like the anti-election demonstrators who also didn’t vote.

      There’s an awful lot of self-righteousness going around. Everyone seems to think they know what everyone else should be doing. I really would like them all to shut up. Do your thing. I’ll do mine. Everyone would be happier and better off. I know I would be.

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    • I think that there’s a lot of self-righteousness going around. People complain about too much “PC” but I think maybe this is really what they mean — a lot of people who are absolutely sure they know what is right. Not only what is right, but RIGHT. For you. They really piss me off 🙂

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