Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

I started out to write about Pilgrims and Indians, Mayflowers and Compacts, and how we really ought to be thankful for their courage, their cooperation, and above all, for their faith. But I realized that's been done, and overdone, and deconstructed, and reconstructed already. I mean, we've had Captain John Smith and Pocahontas, and this very year, it seems every blogger and pundit has some kind of message today.

For instance, Ken Taylor does a fine work writing at The Minority Report.

And it occurs to me why there is so much blogging about this holiday: despite its origins as a government-approved religious observance, everybody likes Thanksgiving.

Even angry vegetarian Pagans can grit their strident, protesting teeth and get behind the idea of a feast at the end of a harvest. Usually in North America the summer grain crops are all but totally harvested by now, though this year cool, wet weather has delayed that in some areas.

But it would be very difficult to plan the start of the Christmas marketing season if we had to wait until the crops were actually brought in before we were to give thanks. Cynicism aside, Thanksgiving itself remains remarkably uncommercialized. Only the NFL, Macy's, and Ocean Spray have had any real success with it, though the people who make turkey friers are giving it a push.

The politically incorrect holiday is Christmas, with its parallel traditions of Christian Virgin Birth on the one hand and elvin, reindeerish images evoking the diversity-challenged Northern Europe of the Little Ice Age on the other.

On Thanksgiving, everyone seems to take a step back, reflect, and exhale a bit. We see siblings, or not, gorge on big, slow birds, or not, and watch the Detroit Lions lose a football game, or not. The Lions will lose, that is, but not everyone will force themselves to watch them do it.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A piece on the radio yesterday pointed out that Washington and Oregon turkey farmers have all but gone away. They used to supply 1/3 of all west coast turkeys. But farmers in the upper midwest out competed them.

So now we have political turkey farms here instead.

Have a great Thanksgiving! ~Jimmy

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