What the hell happened to Thanksgiving? You know, that once famous holiday located nicely on the calendar between All Hallow’s Eve and the Christian celebration of retail tidings of great cheer. I went shopping yesterday, and what to my confused and wandering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer. Towering, fake evergreens are spruced up with twinkling white lights, and beneath, varying sizes of wrapped packages, and boxes with bows. Huh? What? It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas is being forced down our throats.
I love Thanksgiving. I remember as a child the satisfaction of outlining my hand with a pencil…and with a few colors of broken crayons, a little glue, a piece of brown construction paper, and a little imagination, a beautiful turkey appeared. My kid creation was proudly placed upon the refrigerator door, a familial place of honor underneath that slightly chipped magnet shaped like an ear of corn. I remember waiting anxiously for my father, my uncle, and my male cousins to return from the morning’s hunt. Not because I had any real desire to see Bambi’s dad strapped to the hood of the truck, but because their arrival from over the river and back through my grandmother’s vast woods signaled the countdown to sit down, a time when we gathered around the large, dining room table, held hands, told the story about the first Thanksgiving, and expounded upon the givings we were most thankful. At this innocent point in my life, I was thankful most that God created Goo Goo Clusters. As you can imagine, it didn’t take that many years, for me to realize the symbolism over substance of these choreographed family dinners and the fact the Pilgrims exchanged small pox with native Americans more than they did turkey and stuffing. That being said, the exercise of being thankful, never lost its significance for me.
These are tough, weary times in which we now live. And though our retail giants would like us to believe that to lighten the mood we need a little Christmas right this very minute, I don’t believe that for a second. True, at times I, too, feel Mame’d from this greatly depressing recession, but what I need more right now than skinny Elvis singing about a blue Christmas, is a little congealed-and-compressed, canned cranberry sauce (found somewhere between the 75% off candy corn and the caned peppermint sticks), and a swift kick in the ass. I need that historic Macy’s paraded reminder to be extraordinarily thankful…for my family, my friends, my health, and a myriad of life’s other small, but priceless, gratuities.
People, let our voices be heard. We don’t need eight weeks of Hallmark hooey. Occupy Thanksgiving and keep this significant day of reflection from becoming roadkill on the corporate causeway. Raise your hands in thankful solidarity and peacefully protest…and then draw a turkey around them.