I hate it when people refer to Thanksgiving as "Turkey Day."
Yes, there is turkey. Yes, there is also a parade, and football. No one is denying that. Thanksgiving, however, is so much more. In fact, I think it's one of the most overlooked holidays of the year, sometimes not even seen as a holiday as much as a hurdle on the way to the Christmas season.
Don't get me wrong--I love Christmas. What's not to love? Oh, yes: that whole holy war we have to get through every year. Arguments about whether or not Christianity is appropriate saturate the season (that's right: it's not a holiday in the crosshairs; it's a religion) and I really get tired of that. I think a lot of you out there, no matter which side you're on, can identify with that one way or another.
That's why I think Thanksgiving is so important to our culture. Right before the holiday that, despite its message (or, because of it), manages to divide people, we have a holiday all about unity. A holiday that reminds us that even though we're each different, we're all Americans. That's why we eat a meal consisting of foods entirely indigenous to the land we love. That's why we share that meal with people we love. Thanksgiving is there to remind us that before the problems that we have today, before The United States of America even existed, this piece of the Earth we live on has had a knack for getting people to get along. People who were different ideologically, ethnically, religiously, and etc. That's why the greatest nation on Earth was created on that land. That's why The Book of Mormon calls it the Promised Land. There's just something magical about it that creates peace where there should be none.
It's true that a lot of people in history have disrespected what Thanksgiving is all about. Our history is stained with their black marks, of men and women too selfish to see what they were doing to others, and to us. Still, out of that horror, there still came peace. A nation that is so diverse and yet gets along so well is supposed to be impossible, but Thanksgiving gives us a chance to sit around and wonder at the fact that this impossibility has come to pass. It gives us an opportunity to be thankful for all of the things that this land and nation has given us.
I think that if each of us really took that to heart, and celebrated the unity of Americans on Thanksgiving as we watch our football and eat our turkey, that act of reverence could put is in a position to appreciate Christmas properly. If we remember how much we love our diversity and individuality, knowing that it doesn't have to get in the way of our unity, we can make each day until Christmas just that much sweeter.
Just a thought. Because Thanksgiving is that awesome.
Regards, best wishes, and thanks for being here,
BTW: 20,484 words! Only a few days behind on NaNoWriMo!