NOTE: This is a repost. But, it's a repost with a few new pictures. And maybe a couple new jokes. Basically, it's a warmed over Thanksgiving feast. If you haven't read it already, it's new to you. If you have read it, I hope you like the new stuff. If you've read it already, but can't remember that you did, congratulations. The Republican Party has a spot for you.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
It’s the first of the year-end celebrations, the others being Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Years. And, by New Years, I mean New Years Eve. January 1st is really only meant for watching college football and making resolutions to not act like a jackass at the next New Years Eve party.
Provided you even get invited back.
You could make the case that Veterans Day kicks it off. But, as evidenced by the dismal ratings of the short-lived It’s the War to End All Wars, Charlie Brown special, the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month just doesn’t make for a merry start of the holiday season.
So, it’s really the 4th Thursday of November which gets the festivities rolling (hey, it’s easier than trying to figure out when the frik Easter is).
After all, what evokes the holiday spirit more than getting trampled at Wal-Mart by frenzied harpies in bathrobes and curlers on Black Friday?
|Proclaimed a federal holiday |
in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln.
Not surprisingly, the Confederacy said,
"Ya'll can take your Yankee Holiday and shove it."
Which was a shame. Because they
were supposed to bring the sweet potato souffle.
Oh, sure, even though there are parades, football games, and enough food to sink the Mayflower, Thanksgiving is thankfully (pardon the pun) devoid of the commercialism of Christmas and the bacchanalian excess of New Year’s Eve.
|On December 26, 1941, signed a resolution |
from the last Thursday in November to the fourth.
"Hey, get off my ass, it's all I had time to do.
There's a frikkin' war going on, you know."
No, it’s a calming prelude to the mania which paralyzes every December. It’s a time to appreciate what we’ve been given.
As the day draws nearer, I think back to that very first day of thanks held almost four hundred years ago...
The brightly colored leaves swirling madly amongst the trees, a chill autumn wind blowing briskly over freshly-harvested fields, and the forest animals bustling crazily about in preparation for winter.
And nobody fighting over the remote.
|"Hey, does anyone else |
have to pee after that long ass boat ride?"
Frantically scurrying to find a suitable venue at which to hold their celebration, the Pilgrim Fathers were disappointed to learn they were too late; all the good days in October and early November had been reserved months ago for the Pequot/Schwartz wedding reception, the Jamestown “We Were First” Commemoration, and the last of the Mohican family reunions.
Luckily, a spot opened up the last Thursday of November when “Mohawks On Ice!” was forced to close after some Hurons stole their loincloths. So, the Native Europeans invited their friends, the Native Americans, to a grand feast at the local Elks Lodge picnic pavilion (with real elk).
A deeply devout people, the Pilgrims wished to thank the “Godless heathen savages” for all their help getting the colony on its feet. After all, the tribe was essential to gaining a foothold in the New World, long before the Trail of Tears, Wounded Knee, and all-you-can-eat casino buffets.
|"Behold, for I bring you the gift of maize. |
As long as you don't mind the smell of dead fish."
Prior to that, they just stuck them in their trousers.
|"Seriously, Sleeps With Chickens? Eels?? |
Couldn't bring a French Bean casserole
like a normal person, could ya?"
Many customs today hearken back to this coming together: the feast, the fellowship, the two-hand touch lacrosse game after supper, and the men falling asleep in front of the fire with their hands down their pants while the women cleaned up all laid the foundation of our nation.
|"Okay, then, we get to keep Thanksgiving. |
And NASCAR, the Super Bowl,
All-You-Can-Eat hot dog contests,
stuffed crust pizzas, Madonna....hey!!!!
Didn't we give her to you? Ohhh, crap."
Happily, it was the giving of thanks which has endured through peace, war, and disco. No doubt Governor Bradford himself began a tradition which survives to this day: putting relatives on the spot to state that for which they were thankful.
In homes across the nation, this scene will be played out anew during halftime. In the true spirit of the holiday, millions of family members will likewise be grilled.
This year, though, in addition to joyful thanks for family, friends, and the feelings of warmth which come from both, one will resonate above all:
That Great-Aunt Mildred was able to buy the last case of Twinkies from that guy in the back of his van at the Stop N Shop.
Because the alternative was the Eel Pies.
And I don’t care how much Cool Whip you put on them, they’re still eels.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!