PLEASE DON’T PASS THE TURKEY – Marilyn Armstrong

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?

Then, there are Native Americans who don’t want to celebrate the arrival of armed Europeans who would steal their land, infect them with diseases, and try to murder them. They don’t feel this is something to celebrate. Or the struggling families who count on extra money from working holidays to help them survive.

Everyone doesn’t celebrate the same way. Or want to. Some folks prefer to work on holidays. They would rather earn some money than sit around their empty rooms feeling left out of America’s favorite dinner party — and maybe they need the extra pay.

Or they don’t like Thanksgiving, for whatever reason. It is their right to feel that way.

I understand the sentiment. To me, it’s one more example of how we try to force everyone to march in lockstep as if we are all the same or at the very least, we all should be the same. Above all, we should want to be identical.

I would appreciate it if the righteous folks 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. I bet if you ask the turkey, they definitely would like to skip the holiday.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. Retired! Yay!

33 thoughts on “PLEASE DON’T PASS THE TURKEY – Marilyn Armstrong”

    1. My son has worked retail most of his life. He counts on the extra money from holidays. So do a LOT of people. And I also know a number of people who have no family, who refuse to celebrate the arrival of Europeans in the U.S.., or just hate the holiday. There is no universal way to celebrate the holidays. I personally would be just as happy to forget the whole thing.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Me too. And what about doctors and police and nurses and firefighters and mothers and fathers…. work still has to happen. A lot of high expectations that are never met. Bah!

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    1. I’ve tried to get this point across for a long time. Not everyone wants the same holidays. Not everyone LIKES the holidays. Some people really hate them. There’s a really high rate of suicide on these holidays. And going to your local soup kitchen is not a “fixer” … but being allowed to work might be!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. We don’t have thanksgiving. Apart from the turkey murders I don’t see the point of a holiday when everyone goes hunting for bargains on Black Friday afterwards or did I get it wrong?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I recall when the shops were never open on Public Holidays and now they nearly all are except for Christmas Day, Good Friday and Anzac day. What I find unfair is that retail workers here have had their penalty rates taken away to a large extent even though some may only be asked to work on weekends and holiday. It’s a big piece out of your income if you are casual. The Thanksgiving issue is similar to our Australia Day. Many people don’t think we should celebrate the landing of the First Fleet as they see it as the day that the native Australians had their land stolen. We probably should celebrate Federation Day instead but hardly anyone knows what it is. As for the turkeys, I am sure they would be happy to give it a miss. Maybe if they pardoned a President?

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    1. I love the idea of the turkeys pardoning a president. I want to know — What if the turkeys decided that THIS president needed to be stuffed and served to his party? You think they would eat him? They love him so much, maybe they’d like to consume him, too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Isn’t that the aim though – to program Americans – the lockstep; and those who don’t march in time are not welcome even if they happen have prior claim to the land. And the same policy now being applied quite aggressively to much of the planet.

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  4. I agree Marilyn. Especially as the people we should be most thankful for today such as first responders still have to work and do not get the opportunity to spend time with their families. I am not a vegetarian, but even I can see the irony of giving thanks for the bird roasted in the middle of the table that was out of the freezer and not respectfully hunted, plucked and prepared for the oven.. or given as a gift from forgiving natives to stop us starving. Tradition is great but it has to be balanced with our modern version of civilisation and cultural diversity.

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    1. Garry always had to work the holidays too. News people rarely get holidays off and generally, they understand this from the beginning. It’s part of the “career bargain.” Doctors and nurses and first responders go when they are called. I think my cousin Mark became a rheumatologist because he thought it was the medical area least likely to be called out on a golf day.

      And mostly, I think of all the people who really hate the holidays because their families are gone or they are old and neglected and holidays are empty holes in their lives.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. A LOT of people work the holidays and generally, they understand that it’s part of the work they do. It may be annoying, but it isn’t the end of the world, either. I know people who hold off the holiday until the next available day they have together, too. You do the best you can.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. The irony about the shut everything down on Thanksgiving crowd is that it isn’t the righteous crowd that gets upset about it (They reserve their anger for those who dare take the Christ out of Christmas), but it’s the people who make it a point to attend the Black Friday sales who want the retail holiday pushed back to Friday mornings where it originated. It’s the shoppers who don’t want to be pulled away from their turkey and family (Which may be one and the same) in order to secure that deep discount on the utter garbage that gets sold at this one special time of the year. The shoppers don’t give a rat’s ass about us employees or whether we actually want to be there to watch them act like 8 year olds in the lunchroom. They are the ones who believe their holiday time is being violated, yet rather than sit out the sales, they’d rather swoop in to get the big DEAL$ and then complain later about all the quality time they missed hanging out with the mob at Mecca. Consumers believe THEY are the ones being inconvenienced by Black Thanksgiving, not us, the workers………

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    1. Most of these shoppers don’t even notice that stores actually have workers. They really are the maddened hordes. I have never gone to a “black Friday” buying marathon and at this point, I’m pretty sure I never will. What an ugly mess. I’m at the point where the holidays are mostly an annoyance and one big extra expense. I participate as expected, but my enthusiasm has definitely dimmed.

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  6. Good thoughts. The thing that is getting lost (IMHO) is the sense of tradition that America has held for the past 155 years…or whenever “Thanksgiving” became a national holiday. Thanksgiving (United States) – Wikipedia (became a holiday in 1863 actually, when President Abraham Lincoln – a fellow with good common sense and ethics declared it so). I don’t have a problem at all with folks who hate turkey and wish to save the noble (heh heh heh) bird, who don’t care for their biologic family (Hey! I’m ONE of that number), and think holidays are silly or out-dated. And Native Americans? Apologies to all of THEM, but I personally (me, right here) had NOTHING to do with trying to wrest land or tradition or even commit genocide on a people. I don’t owe them any more than they owe me. Nothing. Back on topic: Yeah, forcing people to observe a holiday that isn’t relevant any longer (and it isn’t granted) is kinda stupid. But isn’t that the wheelhouse of America right now? Kinda (and by that I mean incredibly) stupid overall? Entitled fascists run things. Honor and ethics are dirty words. Honesty is something the other guy has. And TRADITIONS? Oh my goodness. How quaint.

    I’m sorry I ranted on your comment, and I’m remedying that with a rant on my blog about this. Sore subject with me personally. But your blog, your rules and who am I to eschew your right to have them?

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    1. I always wind up “celebrating” the holiday because everybody who has a family feels obliged to. I merely reserve the right for people to make their own choices about holidays. We are not all Christians. We are not all white. We do not all have families. We don’t all LIKE our families or feel inclined to celebrate with them. I’m a firm believer in everyone having the right to make their own choices and not forcing anyone to do “my” thing. This includes holidays.

      Do you know how annoyed I get when everyone yammers on and on about how Christians are being persecuted? Seriously? I can name easily half a dozen genuinely persecuted peoples and Christians are NOT one of them. I don’t CARE whether anyone says “Merry Christmas” or Happy Holiday” or simply “Hi, how are you?”

      This is not a Christian country and I am NOT a Christian. Many other people are ALSO not Christians. That used to be okay. Pity it isn’t these days.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. nods fiercely. The Native American in me checks her tomahawk for sharpness, but i always enjoyed the family dinners at T’giving, My husband’s family now puts on a huge buffet style meal (with 26 people involved, a sit down around the table is just not practical) but it’s always a disappointment, the house is too cold, the food is over cooked and cold by the time we get to it, and I go home chilled and exhausted.
        But they are the only family either of us has left, and unless one of us gets violently ill we really feel like we should go.

        I seriously don’t care what we wish each other, and I agree, the poor persecuted Christians are beginning to sound a bit precious to me–someone told them what ‘persecuted’ means and they grabbed hold of it like limpet on a rock.

        And believe it or not, (not), I LIKE Christmas. I like the bustle, the lights, the way kids faces look when they talk about Santa, all that cool stuff. You don’t have to be a card-carrying anything to participate in any holiday. You just have to be. Or not.

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        1. I like Christmas too, especially the carols. I can sing some of them in Latin. And since it isn’t my personal holiday, I totally don’t get why people keep complaining about being greeted pleasantly by someone who doesn’t even have an oar in the water. It baffles me.

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  7. I love turkeys alive and well, and the local rescue farm has a certain day where they have a vegan fundraising dinner that helps support the animals. I like to get together with some family then, but life is life–if it isn’t someone’s preference, then that’s fine and shouldn’t be a reason for people to be crazy about it. Then again, some don’t need reasons to be crazy…

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  8. I’ve been broke and slept in my car. I’ve been lonely and jobless. I’ve been hungry with no place to go and no money.
    All these things and a ton more make me thankful. For anything.
    Anyway, I like turkey.

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    1. I have no objection to anyone liking Thanksgiving. I’m just saying that it isn’t the end of the world if some people have to work on holidays. I can’t even COUNT the number of holidays I spent alone because Garry was working. That’s just the way it was. And I think, if you were to ask him, I doubt he’d have traded at-home holidays for any other job. He really loved his work, holidays or not.

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      1. Ah OK.
        Funny, because just the other day I was reminiscing about when nobody worked on Sundays. It was actually a Law here in Alberta for many, many years as this Province was run by VERY Conservative governments and at least 2 of our Premiers in those days were Christian Ministers. We were really Bible Belt here. Nobody could work on Sunday – and you couldn’t buy anything either except at your Corner Store. Now I work pretty well every Sunday …

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