November 20, 2012 – Thanksgiving is Dead

Several days ago I saw Santa and his reindeer encroaching on Thanksgiving, today I heard Christmas song in my radio station.  I like Christmas.  I also respect traditions.  I remember a time when Christmas decoration comes up AFTER Thanksgiving day. Unfortunately, year after year, Thanksgiving tradition is being systematically diminished bit by bit.  It is inevitable, really.  There are not a lot of money to be made during Thanksgiving.  It is pretty much just a day many businesses are waiting to for it to come and go so that they can start selling all those Christmas gifts.  The shopping frenzy this coming Friday will be so intense – that will be the first time most retailer will start turning profit – thus give birth to the term of Black Friday.

Nowadays, many retailers are getting a head start on Black Friday – maybe Black Wednesday, or Tuesday.  Bestbuy started a Monday preview and I think I heard about a Black Friday before Black Friday (one week before!).    To hasten the demise of Thanksgiving, I wrote the following eulogy.

thanksgiving is dead
don’t tell me that
we still value family time
expressing our blessing over a meal
and
sitting around carving turkey as family
is a lot more fun than
waiting for the buying frenzy to start
and
salivating over the next Christmas gifts
it is preposterous to think that
we would rather listen to the stories
about the time grandpa went to war
or
when mom and dad first fell in love
the old heartwarming tales
we love to listen to
our ipods, tablets, laptops
our netbooks, notebooks and gadgetry
we don’t want to be distracted by
the tall tales and the fish tales
or
the times of the pilgrims of old
we would love to hear about
who’s the american idol
who’s the hottest star
we don’t care
about thanksgiving tradition
we would rather find out
what’s on sale tomorrow
it is not important

Depressed yet?  If you are, there is something we could do.  We could stand firm and reverse the process.  So, go ahead read eulogy again, this time start from the bottom and reverse it.

(This post was inspired by a clip called “The Future of Publishing” via Marion’s blog that I follow.  Thank you Marion, for finding & sharing such a gem.)

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8 thoughts on “November 20, 2012 – Thanksgiving is Dead

  1. This is magnificent! You’ve made the clip into something totally your own, I love it.

    Thanksgiving is not celebrated in the Netherlands, but I treasure the feelings and sentiments behind this day. Saying thanks to nature, to the Gods, spending time with family and celebrating together, intimately. Finding joy in each others company. And that’s why I celebrated Thanksgiving for the second year with my own family (http://mariondriessen.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/thanksgiving/), in my own way, in Holland.

    To read that this beautiful tradition is being overwhelmed by the Christmas frenzy makes me sad. And belligerent. We should stand firm and turn this around, beginning small.

    In the Netherlands we have the ‘St. Nicolaas’ tradition on December 5th. It used to be a grande feast for small children (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinterklaas), but when we were in a shop last week, the whole garden center was filled with Christmas stuff. Glittering trees and ornaments – beautiful I must say – but only near the counters a bit of Sinterklaas was visible: three square meters, that’s it.

    So I support wholeheartedly the effort to keep old traditions, or to bring them back. We need these points of reference in our lives.

    ~ Marion

    • Thank you Marion. It was pretty hard writing and planning so that the opposite is true. As soon as I saw the clip in your blog I knew that I want to do something like that. It has got to be one of the coolest thing I’ve seen. Yes, Thanksgiving is uniquely American (and so is Black Friday) – not even our closest neighbor in Canada is doing it. The Canadian had it right in celebrating Thanksgiving in October. Thanksgiving is an important tradition, it is more important now more than ever because the digital social networking is taking away real world social networking. I heard about Sinterklass because I came from a place with heavy Dutch influence. I practiced English with a Dutch missionary a long long time ago 🙂

      • Yudha (is your name Yudha, like posted in the header?), I have shared your post on Facebook and hope many friends will come and take a look and what you wrought 🙂
        And it is so nice you know of Sinterklaas! The children adore this tradition.
        Oh by the way, I chose a date between American and Canadian Thanksgiving.

      • Yes, Yudha is my real name. I learned of Sinterklass and Black Piet long before I heard of Santa Clause. Thank you for sharing the post. I am very glad that you think that it’s good enough to share with your friends.

  2. In India we got a day which goes like “Micchami Dukkadum” Where you seek forgiveness from everyone and anyone in case you hurt them knowingly or otherwise. But I guess that would be a bigger disaster. People just don’t realize anyonre

    • That is a very interesting tradition. Thank you for mentioning it I will read more about it. I enjoy learning about traditions (especially old traditions) because I believe that most of them help instill good moral behavior.

      • Oh, Please do read. I’ll tell you this, It’s a very humbling experience. Call someone, anyone right now and say “I seek your forgiveness, in case i hurt you, said something mean, I hope you will let go”

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