19 November, 2007

In Search of Thanksgiving

The day after Halloween, the Christmas decorations went up in every store I frequent.  The Diva is not happy.  Each time we enter a store I get to hear her complain "It isn't even Thanksgiving!"
What happened to Thanksgiving?  Where did it go?  Why is it, my favorite of all American holidays, often the lost holiday?
Americans like Thanksgiving.  We like the time spent with family, the football games, the day or two off work, the food.  We like the sales, the shopping, and the sentiment around this holiday.  For the most part, it is a holiday that lives and thrives because Americans like it.  The stores and market place do not do much to keep this holiday alive. 
I understand that Thanksgiving is not a holiday with a lot of "selling power."
Other than food and travel, We do not spend large amounts of money on items for this celebration.  SO many of our holidays involve gifts or treats or celebratory items of one sort or the other.  Halloween, for example, is all about candy, costumes, and creative house decor while Valentine's day... diamonds, flowers, and chocolates are the norm.  St. Patrick's day, not even a holiday, includes large alcohol sales while the 4th of July  involves picnics and fireworks.  
And we all know what Christmas entails, whether we celebrate the holiday or not, we are surrounded by Christmas from the day after Halloween until the first of the new year.  
Somewhere, sandwiched in between the spooky  and the ghostly and the glitter and the gold, lies Thanksgiving - the holiday that I cherish.  
Even though the marketplace seems to have brushed this holiday aside, it is nice to see that Americans have not.  It is a day about family, friends, loved ones... it is about spending time together... and for some, it is even about giving thanks.  
Maybe it is okay that it is not commercialized.  Perhaps the lack of materialism associated with this day of family and giving thanks makes it that much more genuine because it is not about treats, gifts, or glitz.  Because it lacks all the attention, maybe people can take this holiday to define as they wish; to celebrate it as they like; to make the day their own.  
And maybe that is something for which I am thankful!        


M@ said...


Thanksgiving is a lot like the Korean War.

...Suicide is painless....

M@ said...

How do you feel about Festivus?

JustRun said...

I think your last paragraph hits the nail on the head.

And I'm all about the together and the food and the football on that day. I actually hope for cold weather so that we can all be inside doing all of the above.

Bre said...

I like that Thanksgiving is left alone - no pressure to do anything special, just enjoy good food and family!

KennethSF said...

I'm thankful that all my editors are on vacation this week, leaving me a deadline-free week to goof around and have lunch with random friends.

Mike said...

Giving thanks shouldn't be commercialized and teh realization that it is the little things is what makes it all special.

The airlines and gas companies love this holiday the most since it's the most travelled. ;)

The Exception said...

M@ - Although I don't celebrate that holiday - I definitely see its point!

JR - I hope you have cool weather while I am hoping that it is warm here as we like to take day trips and explore over Thanksgiving!

Bre - It is nice that the market place has left a holiday alone - especially a holiday that is about family and friends and being thankful!

Kenneth - Sounds like you are going to have a fabulous week!! I wish I didn't have to work this week... it would be nice!

The Exception said...

Mike - I agree... and they are truly happy this year given the number of people traveling and the prices they are paying to travel.

brandy said...

I ditto everyone on this, I'm so glad that Thanksgiving isn't so... whored out to commercials and media. Though our Thanksgiving comes much earlier than yours, it's nice to know that both of our countries are leaving thanksgiving alone. Now if only they would tone down Valentine's Day hype....

Have the T-Shirt said...

I love Thanksgiving too, but it isn't exactly a 'treat' free holiday. I did my shopping for our dinner last night and spent $219!!

I've always been a sucker for family get togethers though...although I prefer that my mom not be there :P

teahouse said...

Hey, there..just found your site via Dating Dummy. Great post! Thanksgiving is also my favorite holiday. Because it's so un-commercializable. I love how it makes the retailers suffer!!

Kat Wilder said...

I don't know how "uncommercialized" it is ... any time they have a Hallmark card for a holiday, it's a goner. And, it may not be the most commercialized, but it somehow has become the most perfectionist holiday. With magazines putting pressure on us to have a "four-week game plan for a stressfree Thanksgiving," well, um ...

It's a dinner!!! — with (hopefully) loved ones, however you define that, and maybe a day in which you can reflect on the good, not the bad. Too bad we don't do that on a daily basis (or help out at the homeless shelter, dishing out the mashed potatoes and gravy, instead of one day a year to make us feel better about doing "something").

And sadly it's become the prelude to the insanity known as the holiday season. But, you know, the only reason it's like that is because we buy into it.

Oh, now I'm sounding like a total downer!

I like the holiday, too, because it's just another excuse to be with those I love. And, you know, the stuffing ... ;-)

AaroN said...

Thanksgiving isn't lost because it isn't commercialized... it's lost because Christmas is commercialized.

And quite personally, I LOATHE retailers this time of year. Further more, I believe anyone caught in a mall on Friday after Thanksgiving shouldn't be surprised when they get trampled.

Go on, ask me how I really feel about it. :D

The Exception said...

Brandy - I am right there with you on Valentine's day...Where should we start??

T-Shirt - Sorry to say, your mom probably has to be there. What would Thanksgiving be without her? ;)

Teahouse - Welcome to the site and thanks for dropping buy. Sorry I don't have any turkey or mashed potato to offer, but if you wait until Friday, I might have some pie left... or not!

Kat - stuffing... for me it is pasta... we do the Turkey thing at Christmas. But yum... pasta! ;;)

Aaron - So, you will be in the mall bright and early on Friday morning taking advantage of the sales? ;)