Give Thanks for Thanksgiving: Our Uniquely American Holiday

Although a Harris poll a few years back revealed that Christmas is the favorite holiday of the year among all age groups of Americans, we think that Thanksgiving, our uniquely American holiday, has much more to recommend it than Christmas.

Thanksgiving is a day of no pressure on any of us to do, or be, anything (other than perhaps for the person who is doing all the cooking!) in a world of our own creation where anxiety follows us 24/7. The commercialism that accompanies the Christmas season is non-existent for Thanksgiving. We do not feel obligated at Thanksgiving to spend a lot of money (that many of us do not have in the first place) to buy the perfect gift in order to be the perfect spouse or the perfect parent or the perfect friend.

We merely have to sit back, relax, and eat a great meal.

When we think of the Christmas vs. Thanksgiving debate, we think it’s analogous to George Carlin’s skit about football vs. baseball (check it out on You Tube if you’ve never seen it). Football is the equivalent of war, while baseball is all about getting back to home. Similarly, Christmas epitomizes our hyper-capitalist, consumerist, and frenetic society, while Thanksgiving is its antithesis.

Thanksgiving has its roots in our popular imagination, if not in fact, with the Pilgrims in the very beginnings of our nation, long before the concept of a United States had crossed anyone’s mind. It always has been a secular celebration of peace with no particular religious or political connotation.  It simply is a day to be grateful for what we have, however much, or little, that may be.

We wish all of our readers a happy, and restful, Thanksgiving.

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