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Bring back Thanksgiving!

I first published this post in 2009 and reposted it in November 2010. Every year, as early as towards the end of October, I found myself aghast coming face to face with Christmas merchandise and sometimes even MUSIC when the leaves are still sporting brilliant red and yellow.

Seriously? What the F people?

What about Thanksgiving? You know, the quintessential American holiday? The way I see it, FAUX NEWS should be carrying this “Bring Thanksgiving Back” flag if they talk about being the TRUE Americans all the fucking damn time.

The following is my now annual (so it seems *sigh*) tirade against the demise of the significance of Thanksgiving in the face of overwhelming commercialism…

Yeah tirade! Aren’t you glad that I am back in more ways than one?!

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I started campaigning for a forced postponement, a temporary deferral, of celebrating Christmas until AFTER Thanksgiving Day four five six years ago.  I even registered for the domain name: BringBackThanksgiving.com (which is still available… I am sad to confirm… Any takers?)  I stopped paying for it after two years when I realized that with a full time job and three boys to take care of, I simply did not have the capacity to deal with Microsoft FrontPage. (Yikes. Do you remember the days, the days before Blogger, WordPress, etc. when one had to use a software such as FrontPage in order to have one’s own website? *shudder*)

“Curb your enthusiasm!” I beseech you.  “As you recover from the sugar high from all the Halloween candies.  As you dispose of the spider webs, the goblins, the mummy tombs, the rotten carved pumpkins.”

Please, oh, please don’t switch directly from Orange and Black to Red and Green.  However tempting it is when you move all the Halloween boxes down to your basement and see all the Christmas boxes beckoning at you. The smiling Santa with the chubby cheeks.  The snowman. The reindeer.  Resist the temptation: Didn’t Jesus die on the cross partly to teach us this lesson?  Be strong for the sake of your children.

The children need you to show them that, Yes, you believe in the meaning and significance of Thanksgiving Day. Yes, it is important that we take one day out to deliberately remember and show gratitude to all the people who add meanings to our lives, to all the material goods that we are blessed enough to own. To strangers who give you a smile in the street and thus brighten your day. To strangers who by merely doing their jobs are making the world a better, safer place.

My heart aches upon seeing houses adorned with Christmas lights right after, sometimes even before, Halloween.  Of course I am not intimating that the homeowners are therefore not thankful.  No siree.  I am simply dismayed that the significance of Thanksgiving, the arguably ONE holiday that we should all be able to agree on and celebrate, is undermined sandwiched between Halloween and Christmas.

(I admit: I may be putting my foot in my mouth by saying this. I have no clear idea how the native Americans take this holiday though I suspect there must be a lot of conflicting feelings. Do they sometimes wish that Squanto were not so kind as to assist the pilgrims? FWIW, by reading “Thanksgiving: A Native American View” and “Teaching About Thanksgiving“, I am convinced that Thanksgiving is indeed deeper and bigger than just the Pilgrims and the Indians… I hope I do not offend should anyone of Native American descent stops by this post…)

I blame the turkey.

You heard me right. It is the turkey’s fault. In terms of merchandising, turkeys are just not as attractive as say, bunnies, chicks, Santa Clause, snowman, reindeer, and so on.  I have not seen any child hugging a plush Turkey toy lovingly.

turkey

To be honest, that red thing hanging down the throat freaks me out.  Pardon me for being crass, but it always reminds me of testicles. I don’t know why. But it does.

Many, especially Hallmark (bless their heart!), have tried to turn the turkey into an adorable icon:  but seriously, how adorable can you make a turkey?

Turkey for eating

Even more sickening is that in these cutesy depictions of turkeys, they are all forced to celebrate the event in which they will be slaughtered, cooked and eaten! The abomination!

No cute icons, no easy way for merchandising. No easy way for merchandising, no rampant commidification of Thanksgiving. No rampant commidification of Thanksgiving, no shelf space at your local drugstores and grocery stores.

(I am grateful for no longer being in the academia which affords me the opportunity to posit theories full of holes and preaches them on the Internet with no qualms… I am like Glenn Beck on an anti-Turkey path…)

But with your help, we can stem the tide.  We can start it from inside of our homes.

Perhaps we can all start a tradition of having each one of the family members mention one thing that they are grateful for, every day, in the month of November.  No matter how small or how trivial.

Perhaps we can start a quiet movement to resist the Red and Green color scheme from popping up inside of our own houses. Until the day after Thanksgiving.

On the morning of November 26 this year (because November 25, Black Friday, is reserved for Competitive Shopping, or most likely, nursing a stomach ache and hangover headache), I am moving up the Christmas Tree from our basement first thing in the morning.  I am really looking forward to it. And to optimize my effort of transforming my house into a winter wonderland for Christmas, I shall keep the decorations up until after Valentine’s day. Thank goodness for the lllloooonnnngggg winter here. That is, of course, until one of you starts a campaign for bringing back Valentine’s Day…


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F I N A L L Y!

Ok. I am joking. Well, maybe 50%. I am most likely kidding on the square, as is my MO.

I have been thinking about being thankful, for all the right reasons, like everybody else around Thanksgiving time.

When I went to the grocery store across the street for the fourth time in two days yesterday afternoon, I asked the cashier lady what time they would be closing.

“7 pm. Why? You want to come back again?” She laughed.

“No. I was complaining to you about coming here so many times, but then I remembered that you are still working on Thanksgiving Day, so I am kind of embarrassed for being a whiner.”

Somehow I couldn’t get our brief exchange out of my head.

How many times have I complained to a cashier in a store about my day? To the teachers at my kids’ childcare center? To a salesclerk? To the person behind a counter, any counter? To all these other people earning minimum wages (or hopefully higher) and lousy healthcare / retirement benefits (if any) who probably at that moment just wanted to wring my neck but were able to wear a plastic smile because their jobs required them to?

Here are what I am thankful for, for the not so politically correct reasons:

I am thankful that working for me is a choice and not a necessity.

I am thankful that though I work, I do not carry the stress as a sole bread earner.

I am thankful that I am able to treat my work and responsibility as the “second” income and therefore I am not as stressed out as my husband.

I am thankful that my life is comfortable enough that I can afford to be plagued by angst, ennui and neurosis.

I am thankful that my reality affords me to worry about ideology.

I am thankful that I can afford to be generous.

I am thankful for not having to think at all in order to come up with things that I should be thankful for.

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I promised that I’d be snarky in the title so I cannot possibly let you down. Here it is…

I am thankful that Sarah Palin proved yet again that she has no business commenting on political issues or any other serious issues.

“Obviously, we’ve got to stand with our North Korean allies.” — Sarah Palin on Glenn Beck’s radio show

(Yes, I’ll admit: it took me a while to try and work this gem into this post…)

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Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26, 2010

in random

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Freak out!

November 24, 2010 random

Almost 3 pm the day before Thanksgiving. House. Not cleaned. Laundry. Not done. Thanksgiving dishes. Not planned. Ham. Not picked up from the store yet. Pies. Ditto. Grocery list. Nope. Grocery shopping. Ha! My parents-in-law are flying in tomorrow arriving at 11 am. Vegetarian brother-in-law. 3 pm. I am running around not knowing which task […]

20 comments

Norman Rockwell can take the turkey and stuff it!

November 23, 2010 random

Thanksgiving. I had an existential crisis last year when my then almost-7-year-old Mr. Monk started talking about a golden turkey. Complete with legs wrapped around in silver tinfoil and tied with red strings. I honestly had no idea where he got the idea. I still don’t. But an idea he did have. In fact, he […]

14 comments

Bring back Thanksgiving! Please, no Christmas decorations until Black Friday…

November 9, 2010 imho is just a polite way to say I know you don't give a hoot what I think but I'm going to say it anyway

This is a post originally published last November. For some reason, ever since September, a lot of people have searched for “turkey” and landed on my post from last year, skewing my stat counts since I know all of them got the pictures of the turkey and left without even looking at my blog. Tis […]

35 comments

How pumpkin pies are made…

November 26, 2009 a picture is worth a thousand words

Happy Thanksgiving! Well, yeah, you have to click on this thing below that says “click to continue…” to find out how pumpkin pies are made… Ready? Ok. Are you sure you want to know? Ok. Fine. Don’t say I didn’t warn you… You are welcome. * This is one of those “Internet Memes” that have […]

8 comments

Happy Thanksgiving to all! Except, well, the bird…

November 23, 2009 a picture is worth a thousand words

But wait. There is more! Thanks to Elly over at BugginWord for alerting me to this wonderful, modern rendition of Thanksgiving. Elly has much to thank for: she beat cancer! Now let’s all go over and say: Happy first year in remission, Elly!

15 comments

Freedom from Want, Or The Case of the Golden Turkey

November 22, 2009 a picture is worth a thousand words

Even if you don’t know its name, you must have seen this iconic painting by Norman Rockwell: The name of the painting is Freedom from Want, by Norman Rockwell in 1943. Ever since its appearance and subsequent permeation into the pop culture and the collective American consciousness, it is also known as Thanksgiving Dinner. This […]

24 comments

“Bring Back Thanksgiving!” Number One, baby!

November 16, 2009 a picture is worth a thousand words

I know this is sad on so many different levels… Let’s not even talk about how sad it is that I got so excited over the fact that my “Bring Back Thanksgiving” post is, as of this second, the number one result on Google. What got me really sad is that not enough people care, […]

13 comments