Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Meaning of Thanksgiving

I know Thanksgiving is an American holiday so this doesn't necessarily apply to everyone, but what happened to the holiday? It seems like every year the commercialism creep is more and more prevalent in the days leading up to, and the days directly proceeding Thanksgiving. This isn't going to be an all out rant about the retailers, just a reflection on what's really important to me.

For my family and I, Thanksgiving has always been about having a little down time and spending the day together. As a kid I remember hopping in the car and heading over to my aunt's house about an hour or so away. There would be aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and of course mom & dad and my brothers. Most of the men would be huddled around the TV set watching football games while many of the ladies were futzing about in the kitchen whipping up all sorts of yummy food. We kids would be running about playing games and being shushed by the TV watchers and shooed by the cooks.

This would be our yearly routine until we eventually moved too far away to make it feasible to make the annual trip. My aunt's house was replaced with mom's house. Relatives weren't replaced as much as they were exchanged with local versions, and the children running around don't include me anymore, but are now my own kids.

The constant are the traditions which still remain; family, food and football.

With Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday and even Wireless Wednesday (new for 2012) being thrust upon us, I wonder how much the landscape of Thanksgiving has changed for many. Like I said before, this isn't a rant because I know some people enjoy getting up at O-dark-thirty and hitting the stores with family and friends. It's become a tradition to them just as much as he three F's are to me. I just don't get it personally. To me it seems more like this is feeding the machine that is commercialism, but perhaps my viewpoint is skewed and it's really their way of celebrating the day.

To each their own right?

So whether you're a stay at home with family type or you're a supper shopper type, or any other type, my wish for you is that your day brings you joy and fulfillment.


Akelamalu said...

We don't have thanksgiving day here Jeff but I wish you and yours


Mel said...

Awwwww........welcome back and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Or--in this household 'another colonists excuse to overeat day'. LOL He might have a point!

Jeni said...

Always good to read a post by you, Jeff. Your perspective and mine line up completely as to the commercialism today vs the family oriented days we grew up with. Probably not much we can do to change that aspect of our lives except to just let those who enjoy standing in lines for hours in the cold and such for a chance at a bargain on something many of them don't really need and probably just as many really can't afford either if the truth be told. I like my Thanksgiving to be full at least of the food and family! Football is fine as long as my team is playing but these days, I'm usually too busy in the kitchen to partake of the games being broadcast anyway. Thanks for writing this post as it's always nice to see that many others feel this way about this beautiful day meant for us to give thanks for all we have in this life.

Desert Songbird said...

I had those busy family Thanksgiving in my past, usually with friends rather than a bunch of my own family members. After I got married, those family Thanksgivings continued with my husband's extended family. When we moved out here, those ceased. Thanksgiving has not been the same from year to year ever since then. No one back East wants to travel here (even though our weather is spectacular this time of year), and since our kids are so busy this time of year, travel back East is not feasible for us.

This year for Thanksgiving, I used the china and the crystal. I figured my little family of four was worth the fancy trimmings, and we had a "tradition" Thanksgiving just the four of us, including the football on the television. We ate all day, and we sat around enjoying each other's company.

And that made the day special. :)

I hope you and yours had a wonderful day.

Travis Cody said...

The last few years have found Pam and I developing our own traditions for the holiday. The fun part for us has been doing what we think we might like, then adding it to our weekend or deciding never to do it again if it doesn't go well.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Lady In Read said...

I did not celebrate Thanksgiving as a child as I grew up in India..but I agree with the commercialism taking away the actual spirit of the holidays. I think this is true of almost all festivals and holidays across the world now.
And there is a Wireless Wednesday too? first I have heard about it:)