Happy Thanksgiving

I don't want to sound like the Thanksgiving equivalent of the Grinch, but I've always had a hard time getting into this particular holiday. I mean, I don't really like turkey or yams very much. And my ancestors were somewhere in Eastern Europe...being Jewish...when the Puritans, Calvinists, and other mostly protestant groups settled in New England. I suppose the feeling is made even stronger by the tendency of a fair number of Christians to go to church on Thanksgiving, giving it an even more religious overtone. (Maybe it is just a convenient time to go to church in an otherwise busy schedule.) Even the Macy's Parade usually has Santa around, so Thanksgiving seems like the door opening into the Christmas season. Sure, it's nice and PC to call it the holiday season but walking down the street, despite the occasional token menorah or dreydel, it's obviously Christmas. And to be clear, I don't dislike Christmas. It just doesn't have any real meaning to me. Sometimes I do wish all the red and green lights would go up a week or two later. Is that so wrong? There's some interesting info at Wikipedia about Thanksgiving, including that George Washington proclaimed a Thanksgiving holiday after beating the British at Saratoga (although that holiday was celebrated in December.) But more typical is this quote (from Wikipedia) of Sarah Josepha Hale, written in 1863: It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. Now, not all of her quote is as religious as that sentence, but still religion permeates the modern discussion of a holiday which I would prefer to be more (secularly) American and less sectarian. I appreciate the day off (a day of options decay for you premium sellers out there), and of course I always like opportunities for the family and friends to get together. Yet somehow Thanksgiving continues to feel strangely foreign to this American. Whatever the holiday means to you, I wish you and yours a great Thanksgiving.
  • Luis Figueroa
    Comment from: Luis Figueroa
    11/24/05 @ 03:12:11 pm

    From another point of view, here in Guatemala, I see American´s Thanksgiving day as a celebration of abundance, a celebration of the fruits of labor; and why not, a celebration of individualism/capitalism, being that by the time of the original celebrations, the Pilgims had abandoned the colectivist practices that brought Jamestown to famine and ruin. Anyway, I find it a charming celebration, despite the religious implications. Some people down here clebrate to, in imitation of the Americans. And I think that if they do it in celebration of their success during the year, well, that is something to celebrate, isn´t it? BTW, I love Xmas, the way a ten year old loves it. He he. Greetings.

  • Promise
    Comment from: Promise
    11/24/05 @ 08:20:50 pm

    I just thought I would say that America was truly began by Believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. Those men and woman (at least the majority of the men and women on that ship) left Holland because they were being spiritually opressed. They left, searching for freedom. What they found was a harsh, rough, cold country but they also found religious freedom. This country was founded on Biblical Principles. And you know what I find ironic?? The fact that Allah or Buddha or any other religious god can be mentioned without a problem but the second we mention Jesus Christ we're shot down. Why is that?? Especially in the country that was FOUNDED ON BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES. I find it wrong. This is supposed to be a free country but I am being opressed more and more everyday because of my beliefs. It is wrong. -Promise Rhodes-

  • Lucy Stern
    Comment from: Lucy Stern
    11/25/05 @ 10:30:01 pm

    Ross, you don't have to believe in God to be grateful for the things that you are grateful for. Don't read so much into it and just be happy for your beautiful wife, Kristen and for the baby that you will soon be a father to. I bet if you sat down, you could find many blessings. Try not to be offended by the religious content, 80% of this country is religeous in some way or form. Just be grateful for your own life and doings.