Thanksgiving Is the Un Holiday


Country MoonSandwiched somewhere between Halloween and Christmas is the “un” holiday of Thanksgiving. As we know all too well, the true meaning of holidays has given way to the all-mighty dollar.

This year I was late in picking up our Halloween candy. I went in the local dollar store about a week before fright night and some clerks were trying to consolidate the Halloween costumes, decorations and candy into one corner while the rest of the clerks were immediately filling the vacated shelves with Christmas items. Seriously! Did we skip the whole Thanksgiving season completely this year.

What a wonderful holiday Thanksgiving is in its own right. When you think about it, it can actually be good medicine for the soul. So many times we focus on what is wrong with our lives and what we don’t have instead of taking stock and being thankful for all the blessings we do have. I would be willing to wager that everyone, if they are truly honest with themselves, has more positive things in their lives than negative.

Halloween is always October 31 and Christmas is December 25 but Thanksgiving doesn’t even have its own date, but is always celebrated (and I use that term celebrated loosely) on the fourth Thursday of November. Abraham Lincoln made it an official holiday in 1863, to be observed on the last Thursday in November. In 1939 President Franklin Roosevelt moved it up a week to lengthen the Christmas shopping season. Imagine that, even in 1939 it was falling victim to the dollar and they didn’t even have Black Friday then!

Even though this new date was short-lived, Congress made Thanksgiving an official holiday no longer requiring a presidential decree in 1941 and set it as the fourth Thursday in November, it has remained tied to the Christmas shopping season.

Even history has not been kind to this holiday. When we eat the traditional menu of turkey, mashed potatoes and pie, we are not keeping with the foods of the original Thanksgiving. When the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians had the first Thanksgiving feast in 1621 their meal largely consisted of venison, corn, root vegetables (not potatoes), ducks, geese and seafood. Turkey, the number one food of the holiday probably wasn’t even on their menu.

11/23/2014 8:46:48 AM

Lois, I totally agree. Halloween gets more publicity than Thanksgiving. The big box store that I frequent has an entire section of the store that has two things in that part of the store. It's either the garden center or Christmas. Nothing else is in that part of the store. What's up with that? I started seeing the transition from garden center to Christmas some time in the middle of September. Seriously? September? I refuse to go in that part of the store during Christmas season. I too have resorted to gift cards mainly because gifts were costing more to send to the grand kids than the cost of the gifts. And well who knows what to get teenage girls. I sure don't. The gifts that I do buy are usually online. If the store has what I want, I order it from their website and pick it up at the pickup counter thus avoiding all the shopping ruckus. I'm not one to enjoy Christmas crowds. I always complain about the commercialization of Christmas but still every year get caught up in it. Oh, well, what's a grandpa to do. Shut up and pass the turkey please. :-) ***** Have a great Thanksgiving.

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