In Defense of Thanksgiving

There is no way around the fact this country came together with some pretty terrible stains in the fabric. Honest efforts by the adults in my childhood were made to gloss it over, but it’s impossible to get around the whole land theft, genocide, slavery stuff. Despite the multitude of faults our founders had, they passed along a tradition that’s incredibly important: Thanksgiving. I now know the pretty picture of Pilgrims and Indians sitting down as friends for a lovely meal was a big, fat lie. Hard to imagine much of party when the favors were small pox infested blankets.

Even acknowledging the problems with the accuracy of the story I was told, the concept still remains valid: every year, we stop for one day and give thanks for all of our blessings. We acknowledge we have done nothing to deserve the absolute bounty around us. We express our gratitude. In truth, anyone reading this blog should say thanks more often than once a year. But I really like that for one day, we do this as a corporate body. The whole country stops to count our blessings.

This is why I get so annoyed by people who skip Thanksgiving and jump straight from Halloween to Christmas. You’re missing one of the best days of the whole year. There is an order here, people. Read your calendar.

So put down your tinsel and garland. Pack your sparkly lights and Santa hats back in the attic for two more weeks. Let the holiday season play out as it should, in order. Slow down for just a minute and look around you. There is so much to be thankful for. Give this holiday its proper place.

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22 Comments

Filed under The view from here

22 responses to “In Defense of Thanksgiving

  1. jen

    When I came home from being out of town this last weekend, I arrived to find our neighbors had not only put up their lights, they were on. I’m fine with putting them up on a nice day or something but I found myself shrilly exclaiming “but we haven’t even had Thanksgiving yet!” So yeah, I’m with you, there is an order to it and everyone needs to slow down. The stores are really guilty…I think they want to put everything out really early so people shop more or something.

  2. First you don’t like my text message invites to David’s party. Now you’re saying I shouldn’t give out the small pox-infested blanket favors I got? This is a crock. 🙂

    But seriously, I totally agree. I’m actually not a big fan of “the holidays”, but I do like Thanksgiving for all the reasons you mentioned. It’s a great day and it should have its place. Not just as “Black Friday eve” or “Tomorrow we put up the Christmas tree day”.

    • Lisa Lisa

      So I guess this lady is admitting that her family (Mother & Father) and so on, are dysfunctional liars? And wants us to think the same…But yet stop and tell us to be Thankful, do we really need another unknow person telling us how to behave and this person get’s paid for this!
      I think the author is out of order….smile and be happy and find another source to grip about other than our countries Holidays.. Write a good story about life and love and stop dragging up old trash…..REALLY!

      • Laura

        Someone’s a little grumpy!

        To consider Thanksgiving without considering how it came about would be foolish. I am proud to be an American, and I know that as a country we have made some mistakes. We can’t deny that history, and to ignore it would be ignoring how far we’ve come.

        I think the point is, despite how the tradition started, we still have so many reasons to be grateful. We shouldn’t overlook to opportunity to come together on one day, as a nation, and show our appreciation for all we have.

      • Dear Mom & Dad,
        I’m sorry for calling you and all my elementary school teachers dysfunctional liars. Thank you for giving me the proper home training to simply smile at those without a sense of humor or the intellect to read books.
        Yours truly,
        Kerri

      • mrjawright

        Lisa Lisa was never quite the same once Cult Jam broke up.

  3. I now know the pretty picture of Pilgrims and Indians sitting down as friends for a lovely meal was a big, fat lie.

    WHAT??? Next you’re going to tell me that Santa doesn’t really live at the North Pole!

    I agree. We must not skip Thanksgiving.

  4. Laura

    So, I retweeted this before reading it, because I just had a feeling it was going to be good. And it was! I have always hated that Thanksgiving gets skipped. I LOVE Christmas lights and trees and all that jazz, but I absolutely refuse to put anything up before Thanksgiving, and loathe those who do. (Even though I accidentally Christmas shopped last week. But that’s different.)

    Also, nice song. I walked down the aisle to it at my wedding : ) For a beautiful orchestral version, look up “Appalachian Spring” by Aaron Copeland.

  5. Thank you for writing this! Thanksgiving must not be skipped!

  6. APPLAUSE!

    And for the love of all that’s holy, Lisa Lisa, go find a doctor who dispenses happy pills like they’re bounty flowing from the cornucopia.

  7. Natalie

    Geez … someone has some serious issues to sort through. And by someone, I don’t mean you, Kerri. Amen to your post. I hate that so many people skip over Thanksgiving. Damn it. I have a turkey flag up, so I’m paying homage to the great Turkey Day!

  8. KatieMc

    Heeeeeelllll yeah. Say no to Christmas Creep!

  9. Aw, my friend. You’ve hit the bloggy big time! Your first pseudo-anonymous troll comment! (Or, have there been other entertaining and misspelled comments I’ve missed?)

    Kudos to you for calling out the history books and the pre-emptive Christmas tree displays! You’re changing the world! Or, at least, getting people in your corner of it to wait a bit before busting out the ornaments and fruit cake.

    Speaking of fruit cakes……

    🙂

  10. jawright

    I’ve said for ages that I’ll take Thanksgiving over Christmas every time:
    Nobody protests Thanksgiving.
    When was the last time someone got a beat-down in the meat section over the last Turkey?
    Or, their house burgled and their dinner stolen?
    “Show you’re thankful for all you have, by buying more.”..it just doesn’t work well.
    While Thanksgiving may have had an ignoble beginning, it seems like we’ve gone past that to find something valuable…just the opposite of Christmas in some ways.

  11. What a cute little troll!

    While I sometimes bristle at blog writers telling their readers they “should” do anything (really you don’t know me. YOU DON”T KNOW ME!!!) , I have to say that was outta control.

    And seriously, the Christmas creep is creepy, like my town’s nativity scene baby Jesus.

  12. I’m so jealous! You have a troll. I’m not that big of a damn deal yet. Someday.

  13. One of my friends told me once about everyone putting up their Christmas decor as the kids were out trick or treating: we need to take the time to be thankful, then let us be joyful. Love that.

  14. Stuart

    Found this while surfing around. Great comments. We need to protect Thanksgiving. I’ve just about had my head removed for complaining about malls starting Christmas too soon.
    I liked your blog about Christmas too.

  15. Jena Selva

    I totally agree with you Kerri! I actually made my husband change the radio when white christmas bing crosby was on sunday. No Christmas music until after Thanksgiving!! Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. Maybe I’m weird.