Thanksgiving is a time of togetherness for family and friends.
Legend has it that the Pilgrims made it through their first winter in the New World thanks to the Native Americans who provided food and shared their means for survival in a harsh climate.
Traditional Thanksgiving fare includes mashed potatoes, stuffing, yams and other vegetables, cranberry sauce, ham, and of course, the main attraction, the Thanksgiving turkey. This is all followed by pumpkin or apple pie (or both, in my family) topped with whipped cream or vanilla icecream.
Wow, I’m salivating for that meal already, but it’s still some time away.
Wait, isn’t it Christmas already?
No, you say?
But everywhere I go, I see Christmas garlands strung across store aisles, Christmas tree farms are throwing open their gates, inflatable snowmen have replaced their jack-o’-lantern counterparts, and Santa has set up camp at the mall.
When I was younger, I remember that after Halloween, I would continue to see Autumn-themed decorations and other trimming wherever I went; it was basically Halloween décor minus the scare factor.
It was still Autumn and everyone was celebrating the Harvest Season. Thanksgiving was always a nice, smooth transition into the Christmas season.
BUT EVERYWHERE I GO, I SEE CHRISTMAS GARLANDS STRUNG ACROSS STORE AISLES, CHRISTMAS TREE FARMS ARE THROWING OPEN THEIR GATES, INFLATABLE SNOWMEN HAVE REPLACED THEIR JACK-O’-LANTERN COUNTERPARTS, AND SANTA HAS SET UP CAMP AT THE MALL.
Now with retail taking more and more of a chunk of our attention to the holidays, The Christmas State Of Mind needs to start earlier and earlier to feed the gift-giving frenzy of a confused populace who keep thinking Christmas is right around the corner, forgetting that speed bump called Thanksgiving.
Why squeeze out a holiday that is totally non-denominational, brings family and friends together for delicious food, and reminds us to show gratitude for all our blessings?
In defense of Thanksgiving, let’s slow down and enjoy November, its fiery show of leaves going out in a blaze of glory, the countdown to the Thanksgiving Feast, the constant reminder to GIVE THANKS inherent in the name of the season.
And to those who wish to rush, don’t panic. As soon as you finish that last bite of turkey and stuffing, you may don your ugly sweater and play those Christmas carols. You still have an entire month, after all.
Do you think that Thanksgiving is too important to be squeezed out, or is the holiday now irrelevant?
Photo by Karolina Grabowska