Thanksgiving may be a bit more strained around some family dinner tables than others this year. We’re planning to be with like-minded friends, so while there may be some sadness amidst the joy, we’ve always been on the same side and this holiday will be a chance to welcome new friends among us and be grateful that we have each other to lean on.
Before I sign off to go see if I can help with the turkey, I have one final thought to leave you with today:
For Thanksgiving Day I usually write something short and if possible funny. The cartoon above would probably be on point. Or sometimes Galen does a reading list. Not this year.
Instead, we have this:
John Oliver on Last Week Tonight said something cogent about the results of that first Thanksgiving, comparing it to events going on right now:
As has happened so often since 9/11, we are again forgetting one of Ben Franklin’s most important comments:
Because Ben was right. So many people seem to be willing to give up who we are and what we stand for as a country because they have bought in to the fear that has been ginned up by certain political leaders and news outlets on the right of the political spectrum.
Even though Franklin D. Roosevelt turned out to be spectacularly wrong about the Japanese Internment Camps, in this he was absolutely right. (And the Internment Camps were a response to unreasoning and racist fear)
“I am on this account not displeased that the Figure is not known as a Bald Eagle, but looks more like a Turkey. For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America… He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on.”
Of course, had the turkey become the national bird, we might feel inhibited against eating it… and I really don’t think eagle would be a good substitute. So it all works out.
For those of us in the U.S. it is the end of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. For everyone not in the U.S., you’re probably wondering what the fuss was about. Except that we were in Vancouver, Canada on Thursday and Friday and saw Black Friday Sale signs going up all over the place. It seemed strange to have Black Friday Sales without having had a Thanksgiving Thursday first. And Canada doesn’t. Thanksgiving in Canada was way back on October 14.
We asked people what the deal was, and it turned out that yes, it was becoming a deal. Vancouver, at least, is way too close to the U.S. border for economic comfort. Too many Christmas shoppers were driving to Seattle, or at least the outlet mall along the way, to grab the Black Friday shopping madness in the U.S.
So the Canadian stores were trying to keep those shoppers at home by giving them their very own Black Friday sales. Turkey and stuffing optional.
For those of us in the U.S. (which I’m technically not, today, so funny that) today is Thanksgiving. This also happens to be a very late Thanksgiving, always the fourth Thursday in November; because November started on a Friday this year.
For those of us who are Jewish, today is the first day of Hanukkah, which started last night at sunset. It is the 25th day of Kislev according to the Jewish calendar. (Wikipedia has a lovely explanation of how the Hebrew calendar drifts out of sync in relation to the Gregorian calendar used for standard dates.)
But the idea of this once in a lifetime phenomenon captured a lot of people’s imaginations. So we have Thanksgivukkah, a word which is driving the WordPress spell-checker absolutely bonkers.
A day where I can give thanks, eat turkey and possibly receive Hanukkah presents, all in one swell foop.
So wherever you may be, I hope that you are having a happy Thanksgiving, even if today isn’t your holiday. Or holidays.