I like the ecumenical aspect of Thanksgiving. And all the things you list...and I like, too, that more people are acknowledging the problematic origins, and yet still choosing to celebrate in just the way you mention. As a frequent thanksgiving "orphan" myself, I love that we are, as a culture, allowed to say "this is not the holiday it was in previous decades, it is now something else, and that, too, is good. Thank you for this food, let's eat."
Yeah, I'm sorry you were criticized for it. But you've got it just right.
"This is not the holiday it was in previous decades, it is now something else, and that, too, is good. Thank you for this food, let's eat."
Yes. Thanksgiving has become increasingly precious to me since I moved to the UK. It is a significant (North) American custom, unshared with British customs (and, er, also not the Fourth of July), that has a mode of celebration of which I'm particularly fond, and keeping it up helps me feel connected to the land of my birth. Although I'm fairly certain I won't return except for visits, I spent more than two decades there and that was pretty critical in shaping my identity. So it's important to me.
If it were me I would have unloaded and blamed it on pregnancy hormones but then I don't really do all that much tact.
Do you have to have many encounters with this individual?
Ha, I would've done if I'd felt I knew this person well enough, but I don't. Fortunately, I'd say about 95% of any potential interaction with them is fully under my control so it's highly unlikely to happen again.
That last paragraph is perfect. I'm afraid we find it all too easy to start pointing fingers.
Yes. For instance, I know I'm not the right person to trumpet the views of Native American/First Nations people, which is why even though I have said persons in my family through marriage, I didn't mention them or their views on Thanksgiving in the body of this post.
I was going to say, it's nice because it's pretty darn secular at this point, just about sharing food and being with family and friends.
Sheesh, they need to take a step back.
Yes, it is quite secular! You certainly don't have to give thanks to a deity if you don't want to.
Halloween is an odd one for me. Part of me longs to put the effort into costumes that I used to, but actually celebrating requires a collective energy/participation that isn't to be mustered in England unless you have a large network of expat American friends. I don't, and I'm not going to set about trying to make one just so I can get dressed up one day a year. :P
I always have big plans for Halloween, Big plans! Even in july! Like this year I wanted to dress as Eve from Only Lovers Left Alive, and then I couldn't even get that night off, and her clothes are all cream colored leather which is expensive, even ersatz on my budget and I'm not a goddamn seamstress....
But I do love everyone's decorations and I love its embrace of the darkness and I love all the half price "spooky" decorations I can get right after... I'll send you some sparkly bats and filigree raven stickers if you ever want them.
I miss having big plans for Halloween costumes! And then either not executing them or getting it sorta wrong but it still being really fun.
Yes, the cut-price decor is great and thank you for the offer. Might take you up on that when Humuhumu gets a little older. She loves the spooky window gels I brought back last time I was in the States.
Did they seriously think it had never occurred to you?
And anyway,the pilgrims still thought of themselves as English at the time, didn't they?
Yeah, I don't think some British people have very high opinions of the critical thinking capabilities of Americans. :P
Yep, a lot of Aussies are like that too.
Thanks. Too bad it's all l'esprit de l'escalier...:P
In my household, Thanksgiving was never about starving pilgrims or exploited indigenous people. It was about eating massive quantities of food preceded by everyone saying something they were thankful for, watching the Three Stooges, and then eating more pie. Like you, I have experienced the openness of people during a holiday that feels more genuinely inclusive and caring than Christmas. It's possibly my second favorite holiday after Halloween.