Happy Freakin’ Thanksgiving

This past weekend, some of my neighbors put up their outside Christmas lights. Major stores have had their Christmas displays up since the beginning of October. These same stores have announced that they will be open to start their big holiday sales earlier than usual…this Thursday. Crazy people are camped out in tents outside of these stores so that they can be the first to take advantage of these great savings.

And it’s not even Thanksgiving yet.

WTF? If I were Thanksgiving, I would be PISSED!  Talk about a holiday that has just been tossed aside to create further anticipation for the BIG holiday. It’s like Christmas is a Rolling Stones concert, and Thanksgiving is some crummy opening act that no one gives two shits about.

Don’t get me wrong…I’m not saying that Thanksgiving is BETTER than Christmas. Even I’m not that delusional. Yet, I kind of feel bad for Thanksgiving, in much the same way that I feel sorry for Mike McCartney, Paul’s younger brother. I mean, how could you ever measure up as far as riches and fame? Do you think it’s fun for Michael to be introduced to someone who immediately says “Wow, I’m a big fan of your brother! What’s he like?” Now imagine Thanksgiving walking into a bar and ordering a drink, and then someone finds out…they might immediately say “Wow, I’m a big fan of Christmas! What’s it really like?”

Thanksgiving has gotten screwed from the get-go. You see, Christmas Day has been December 25th since…well, since Christ was a kid, to coin a phrase. But Thanksgiving was always kind of a gray area, and even needed a presidential proclamation to make it official. Here’s a little history, courtesy of Wikipedia:

“Thanksgiving in the United States, much like in Canada, was observed on various dates throughout history. The dates of Thanksgiving in the era of the Founding Fathers until the time of Lincoln had been decided by each state on various dates. The first Thanksgiving celebrated on the same date by all states was in 1863 by presidential proclamation. The final Thursday in November had become the customary date of Thanksgiving in most U.S. states by the beginning of the 20th century. And so, in an effort by President Abraham Lincoln (influenced by the campaigning of author Sarah Joseph Hale who wrote letters to politicians for around 40 years trying to make it an official holiday), to foster a sense of American unity between the Northern and Southern states, proclaimed the date to be the final Thursday in November. It was not until December 26, 1941, that the unified date changed to the fourth Thursday (and not always final) in November -this time by federal legislation. President Franklin D. Roosevelt after two years earlier offering his own proclamation to move the date earlier, with the reason of giving the country an economic boost, agreed to sign a bill into law with Congress, making Thanksgiving a national holiday on the fourth (not final) Thursday in November.” So you see, Thanksgiving doesn’t even have an official date…it’s just the fourth Thursday. Lame.

Look at the other ways that Thanksgiving has been shortchanged. How many songs are there about Christmas? Tons. How many songs are there about Thanksgiving? Two, and that’s a stretch. Everyone considers “Over the River and Through the Woods” to be a Thanksgiving song, but I don’t think it even mentions the holiday. Plus, there’s “Alice’s Restaurant” by Arlo Guthrie, which just conveniently takes place on Thanksgiving.

Do people have big family get-togethers on Thanksgiving Eve like they do on Christmas Eve?  Nope. But I gotta tell ya, Thanksgiving Eve has become quite a party night. A couple of years ago, I went with some friends from work to a happy hour on Thanksgiving Eve, and got ripped! Wow, what a fun night! I had to pick up my sister-in-law from the train station, and she had to drive us home. Never did THAT on a Christmas Eve.

So go ahead and camp out in front of Best Buy if you want. Put up your Christmas decorations, and totally ignore what I consider a pretty cool holiday. I’ll eat like a drunken sailor on Thursday, watch some football, have some great leftovers, and I’ll have Friday off so I can eat more leftovers and maybe think about putting up some Christmas stuff throughout the rest of the weekend.

Now go watch the Thanksgiving episode of WKRP in Cincinnatti…you know the one…”As God is my witness…I thought turkeys could fly”

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About groovyrick

I live in a small town in Illinois with my wife and three kids. I am a part-time musician, part-time writer, and full-time dreamer.
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5 Responses to Happy Freakin’ Thanksgiving

  1. mike white says:

    at least thanksgiving always gets to be on thursday.they should cancel black friday and take monday off too.five day weekend. now that would something to give thanks for.

  2. Kristi Zimmerman says:

    As always you slay me, Ricko! I was thinking the same thing a few days ago – what with all of the Christmas hubaloo about so early. Poor Thanksgiving. I love this holiday – the food and belly scratching alone is worth a dozen xmas carols. I was thinking about movies that are Thanksgiving related yesterday, and all I could come up with is Home for the Holidays (starring Holly Hunter – wow, that’s a lot of “H”) and Planes, Trains and Automobiles. I also thought of Groundhog Day … but then realized that just because it’s cold in that movie doesn’t mean it’s about Thanksgiving. And I guess title kind of gives it away too.

  3. Agreed. It is the red-headed step child of the holiday season — yet it’s so much BETTER!

    Of course, with my recent Thanks(not)giving bitchfest on my blog, you wouldn’t think that I think that. But I do. So there.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, friend. Enjoy those drinks and a bird or two. I am thankful for your writing and perspective!

    🙂

  4. Tara says:

    Rick-

    Everyone asks, on Thanksgiving, what you are most Thankful for. While I agree it is nice to tell certain people that you are thankful for them, isn’t some thankfulness just bragging? I’m thankful that I have a hat collection so massive that it fills up my room. If I heard someone tell me that, I would first high five them, second check to see if they are single, third be completely jealous of them. So, why not call Thanksgiving, Bragsgiving, to brag about all the shit you have that no one else does? Just a thought, take it or leave it.

    Sincerely,
    Bitter about what I’m REALLY thankful for this Thanksgiving — having no money — bah-hum-bug

    P.S. If anyone knows of a single guy with an amazing hat collection send them my way.

    P.S.S. I really do like Thanksgiving but just went to a dark place right now….ahahahahah (evil laugh)

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