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November 22, 2007

A Thanksgiving Rant

Happy Thanksgiving!

Okay, now that I've said it I can also say that I hate Thanksgiving.

In my opinion, the whole Pilgrims-and-Indians thing isn't really anything to celebrate. It's the same way I feel about Columbus Day: Let's celebrate the invasion of Native America by white people! Fun! What am I thankful for this year? I'm thankful that home wasn't taken from me in exchange for plastic beads and small pox.

But that's not even the issue really... I hate what Thanksgiving symbolizes. Now don't get me wrong. I absolutely agree with the concept of being grateful for my good fortune. I just don't see why I should be forced to feel grateful on this one specific day. Shouldn't we be grateful everyday?

Thanksgiving gives us a "wonderful opportunity" to spend special time with relatives and loved ones, but again, why it this one day such a big deal? Why not spend time with loved ones whenever it strikes your fancy? Wouldn't it mean more to visit family just because you wanted to and not because the calendar told you to do so? It doesn't make sense that we are forced to spend "quality time" with them on this day, the same day everyone else does it, therefore ensuring we will be stuck in traffic for hours and/or pay outrageous airline prices in order to do so. (Thanksgiving week is the #1 travel nightmare week). And speaking of family: Thanksgiving makes those people without family (or those who cannot be with their families for whatever reason) feel pathetic and alone.

My least favorite part of Thanksgiving is the dinner. I do not eat turkey. I do not eat stuffing. I do not eat pumpkin pie. I do not eat cranberry sauce. I do not eat sweet potatoes. Or yams. (I'm still not clear on the difference between sweet potatoes and yams; I only know that I detest both). Pumpkin pie? No thanks. I do not like any traditional Thanksgiving foods, but my real issue with the dinner is not actually with the food itself. It is the fact that everyone gathers with the sole purpose of engorging him or herself. This holiday has become not a time to acknowledge how grateful we are and to spend time with family, but an excuse for overindulgence. Let's eat like a pig! Let's drink like a fish! Let's lounge on the sofa watching football like a sloth! (Perhaps that last one isn't exactly zoologically accurate... but I'm sure that if a sloth did have a sofa and a television, it would certainly spend its Thanksgivings watching football).

We're supposed to be acknowledging our appreciation for all we have, the things that matter – our life, our health, our family, our friends – not our new car or our widescreen TV. Yet, we express this appreciation by being gluttonous and lazy?

Some say Thanksgiving would be better spent doing charitable works; acknowledging our good fortunate by sharing it with others, not by greedily overindulging in it. Unfortunately those who do think to volunteer on Thanksgiving miss the mark by choosing to serve food at a soup kitchen. Thanksgiving is the one time of year when soup kitchens actually have to turn volunteers away. Why not volunteer on a random day, when help is really needed? It all goes back to being grateful everyday and not just the fourth Thursday in November.

Then there's the parade. I don't remember the Thanksgiving Parade always being so overly saturated with Christmas references. I recall Santa Claus taking up the rear (that sounds a lot dirtier than I intended it to), but the past few years you might as well have called it the Pre-Christmas Parade. I know Christmas has become quite commercial but when did it stop being a Christian holiday? As far as I know, not every American who celebrates Thanksgiving is a Christian and frankly, I don't want to hear Christmas music until December, if at all. (Unless it's New Kids on the Block singing "Funky Funky Xmas", because who doesn't have a funky, dope jam on top of your Christmas list?)

Christmas is another holiday that has become a joke. First of all, Jesus Christ - if he did exist - was likely not born on December 25th according to historians. (Historians also say that he was born sometime between 8-2 BC. Yes, that's right "Before Christ". Gotta love it). The whole basis of Christmas has been forgotten and replaced with bright flashing lights and big fat men in red suits. And if Thanksgiving is the holiday of overeating, Christmas is the holiday of overspending... It's nauseating.

But I'll bore you with my rant about that next month.


amanda said...

Have you heard of this? Morgan Spurlock did a documentary on the commercialization of Christmas. I can't wait to see it--and it sounds like it might be up your alley too.


Jezebel said...

Okay, fine. I'll be the cheesy one. I'm thankful for Eve and Mary M., Chiquita and Sakura, Adam, and especially Lilith. Every day, including today ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm especially thankful for you Jezebel tomorrow. ;-)