What does the world cost? Oh well, then we'll just take a small coke.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

If you load the date application on your cell, double click the clock icon on your Windows, Mac or Linux computer or check the paper calendar hanging in the next room, you may notice that today is Thanksgiving.

If November twenty-second isn't marked as Thanksgiving on your calendar - a realistic possibility given the number of calendars in circulation made before Abraham Lincoln recognized the holiday federally, just look for the date labeled Black Friday and subtract one day. That's the Day of Happy Tummies and Sad Turkeys, or at least that's what the calendar on my ice-a-boxa announces.

I joke about the euphemisms for Thanksgiving, but there is actually a serious issue at root here. Not a sinister, dark issue like Dane Cook in Mr. Brooks, but a light and fluffy concern like Dane Cook in Waiting. Thanksgiving, by that name, is being replaced by a host of alternatives, the most common of which is Turkey Day.

But is Thanksgiving really Turkey Day? Isn't that discriminating unfairly against the stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie? What would the other food items say about calling out the meat dish for special recognition? What about the three football games and 3,000 calories? How about the Cowboys Spank The Jets Day? Or The Lions Are Really Out Of It Day?

I don't know anyone who called May 28th of this year Dead People or Cemetery Celebration; most folks just called it Memorial Day. And September 3rd was Labor Day, not Last Day to Wear White.

Like warm soda deliquescing ice in a Dixie cup, the meaning and title of Thanksgiving have melted away to a new reality.

The traditionalist in me says that not only should the turkey (small "t") should not be the core of the holiday, a couple of Presidential pardons and seasonal decorations notwithstanding. Maybe this day should be about giving thanks to Someone for all the stuff we've got and will get over the course of a generous Christmas season.

Giving thanks. Two words, twelve characters and a concept so profound, it takes a whole day to celebrate. In typical American fashion, it's a time to take stock and add pounds.

But giving thanks requires some deep thinking to finding someone to give thanks to. Mom? Dad? Nature? Some kind of omnipotent power or, dare I say it, God? That kind of pondering leads to stress-induced indigestion, which can ruin the feast, so we don't do it.

Who am I kidding? I should lay off the idealism pills and rejoin the 21st Century. I should leave the Wampanoag and William Bradford behind and embrace the new reality of, well, pretty much whatever you want to make it.

That's right. Go celebrate. Pork out (or is it gobble out?). Stuff your face 'till Romo throws his last touchdown. And never give a second thought to this strange custom of Thanksgiving.


Gracie said...

Very true, but you can't really market thanking God, actually you could... Never mind.. Not as much as Turkey, Beer, and football anyway.. Good post though... *grins
“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.”

mumble's the word said...

Hey, yeah, we don't even have turkey. We've had lasagne before, and this year it's roast beef. Turkey Day, indeed!