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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Without the Pilgrims

Obama's Thanksgiving message

Mary Ellen and I like to celebrate Thanksgiving for all the wrong reasons -- not the reasons provided by American tradition. We could care less about the fundamentalist Pilgrims and the fake stories associated with them. And it certainly isn't our nature to breezily celebrate events that culminated in continental genocide.

We celebrate Thanksgiving from a longer perspective, as a continuation of rituals of merriment and gratitude -- conducted for hundreds or thousands of years -- that were prompted by bountiful (or even adequate) hunting, gathering and/or harvests. There probably have always been rituals in late Fall created by humans to bring folks together, encourage sharing and facilitate partying -- part of a process of readying ourselves for the austerity and challenges of full-on winter. We honor the pagan-like celebrations with a theme of We Made It This Far and We Will (Probabably) Survive, So Let's Feast. To hell with the nationalism, piety and pretense.

This year, we aren't even going that far. With Mary Ellen still recovering (very nicely) from surgery and her appetite still craving only simple nourishment, we're sticking to enjoying the soup and quiche and (maybe) manicotti our neighbors brought by the other day. No guests. No visits to friends' houses. Just us. And our birds. It feels right and relaxed.

We're content and thankful for many things in our personal lives, and for the successes we got to experience on November 4th. We are feeling the gratitude typical of one of our usual Thanksgivings, but it's being expressed one on one, quietly, with little fanfare. The rainy day in Albuquerque seems to match our sense of muted but heartfelt thankfulness and low-key intimacy.

Mary Ellen's sister in Massachusetts shipped us a frozen T-Day dinner, complete with turkey breast, garlic mashed potatoes, whipped sweet potatoes and green bean casserole, but we'll wait till next weekend to eat it -- or whenever Mary Ellen's appetite for such fare returns in earnest. After all, if we're rebelling against the traditional reasons to celebrate Thanksgiving, we can celebrate it whenever we damned well please.


Thanks to all of you who nurture and participate in progressive activism, and to the thousands of readers who have supported this blog since 2004. Hope you're celebrating family, community and positive thoughts in whatever way feels right to you, traditional or not.

November 27, 2008 at 01:39 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink


Hey Babs and MEB--we celebrated here with friend, family and neighbors--and I got to thinking about the first time I cooked a turkey-- back in 1993 or 1994 at the cabin at the hot springs with ms k and the two of you--it was a fine one as I recall-- and yesterday marked turkey number 4 for me! ms eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Posted by: | Nov 28, 2008 5:36:36 PM

Thanksgiving is a religious holiday. President Elect Obama used just a small part of
President Lincoln's words. I guess he did not want to muddle his message.

"No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."

There is not the separation of Church and State most people think there is. I give thanks to God every day and do not think any much about it on the 4th Thursday of November than any other day. I celebrate and observe thanksgiving, independence , memorials, Easter, Christmas, and earth day everyday. I hope every one has time to spend with family and have enough to eat everyday. I always stuck me as odd that people say Happy Thanksgiving. Do they not care what happens the next day? Happy days to everyone and may God bless us, everyone.

Posted by: Alfredo | Nov 29, 2008 1:42:47 AM

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