Monday, November 8, 2010

thanksgiving: the rodney dangerfield of holidays

     Just as the Halloween frenzy fades, Christmas decorations are allowed to blatantly take over the world. Visions of sugarplums are dancing well before the beginning of December.
     The overhead speakers in every store chortle a selection of distorted carols. And my favorite of all the holidays, the humble, loveable underdog is again, getting NO respect.
     As I contemplate the menu, consider nature-inspired tablescapes, count available tables and chairs and pencil out a guest list, retail stores are exploding with holly and ivy. Even a few of my friends are mulling over the question, "Is it too early to put up the tree?"
     I am horrified, first by the thought of putting up a Christmas tree in early November and second, at the callousness of these otherwise lovely people. I just want to stand up as tall as my five foot-three frame will allow and shout, "This is the Thanksgiving police. Step away from the tinsel!"    
     What about the Pilgrims and the Indians? The endless types of pie, the savory stuffing and the rice and gravy?? It's TURKEY gravy, people. It's pure gold!
     What about deep, red cranberry relish with grated orange peel, tiny little brussel sprouts sauteed with garlic and whole fingerling sweet potatoes, oven roasted and sprinkled with brown sugar, cinnamon and sea salt?
     What about the smiles on the faces of beloved family around our table? What about our tradition of including orphaned friends who have no one to dine with? What about being thankful to God for just one day, before we get sucked into the great commercial vortex?
     A multitude of websites report varied and sundry versions of the first Thanksgiving, with stories of a happy, communal harvest feast contradicting one of a savage affair complete with after-dinner scalping told from the perspective of a Native American writer.
     "In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. In 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November." http://www.history.com/  
     In 2010, life moves quite a bit faster than it did in 1621. We jump from one frenetic event to another, guided by commercial gods who instruct us on infinite ways to accumulate more. Gluttony has almost become a sport... Television shows are devoted to it.
     Seldom do we as individuals attempt to stop and smell the turkey! We forget to be thankful on a daily basis. Thankful for our health, of getting up one more day and breathing in air. Thankful for our disfunctional families that alternately drive us insane or fill us with joy and wonder.
     Thankful for the country in which we live, for freedoms purchased with the blood of many brave souls. Even thankful for our seemingly inept government officials, which WE, the people put in places of power.
     So, in spite of what the rest of the country is doing, I will be here organizing the acorns and pinecones, stacking the firewood, ironing the napkins, picking out the pecans and calling people I love.
     I will light candles, get out the serving platters, fill bowls with candy corn and whole hazelnuts. I will bathe the dogs, shake rugs, fluff pillows and get out folding chairs.
     I will eat too much, talk a lot, listen more, play in the yard with the kids, take a little tryptophan induced nap, and say, Mmmmm too many times to count. I will be very, very thankful for one whole day... before heading to the woods on Friday to pick out my tree.
     It's Thanksgiving season, y'all... Santa can wait;)

2 comments:

  1. Even though I am ready for the Twinkle of the Christmas lights. We never decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. We would miss our pumpkins and acorn garland and fall wreaths to much. So after Thanks giving and some sweet potato pie, I will start gathering the next decorations.

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  2. Yay, Rebecca... You are a girl after my own heart!

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