October 11, 2010

What I hate about Thanksgiving Day.

It's Thanksgiving Day today and you know what? I'll let you in on a little secret...

I don't like Thanksgiving Day. 

Now, before you cast judgement on me for being an unthankful clod, please hear me out.

It's not because of some traumatic Turkey Day experience.

It's not because I have any ethical issues with feasting on the carcass of a giant, [drool] hot, juicy, delicious, bird. Mmmmm... turkey...[/drool] or have any self-image issues about gaining weight by over-stuffing my belly fully of [burp]*[/burp] great food.

It's not because of my displeasure with doing after-feast dishes.

No, it's not any of that. It's because I have an issue with how we, as a society, give thanks.

It strikes me that we have a lot to be thankful for. We have this incredible bounty, but we've allowed ourselves to be conditioned to the idea that what we've got is never enough.


It's hard to be thankful for anything when we're constantly being told - and believing - that the clothes on our backs aren't fashionable enough; that the cars we drive are substandard because they don't perform as well as the latest, greatest models; that our homes are too small; that we're not attractive enough unless we buy Brand X attractiveness-enhancer; that somewhere out there is our Prince/Princess Charming and that the butt-scratching peon you're with isn't he/she; that there are plenty of fish in the sea and the fishing boat we've been using isn't big enough to catch them; and so on.

It all adds up and it makes us unhappy. It makes us unhappy because we're always focusing on what we don't have, instead of what we do have. When we don't stop to think about what we do have, we become ungrateful, selfish, clods.

Let's face it. We, as a society, are a bunch of ungrateful, selfish, clods.  I'm guilty of it, too.

And this leads to why I don't like Thanksgiving Day. While I am thankful that we have at least one day where we're asked to stop and be thankful for what we have, it's just one day. One stinkin' day.

Imagine what the world would be like if we stopped to give thanks for everything, every day.  Absolutely everything. Every day.  And we genuinely meant it.

Just think about it.

Would we abuse the planet as badly as we do now? Would we abuse each other as badly?

I suspect we would not.

I know we would not.

And we'd all be happier for it.

So, it may seem a little ironic I'm not as thankful for Thanksgiving Day as, perhaps, I should be (One day is better than none, of course), but we have far too much to be thankful for to cram it all into one day.  Or one month.  Or one year.

We need to make gratitude and thankfulness a part of our everyday lifestyle.

Thanks for hearing me out.


Scientific Chick said...

Wow, great post. I totally agree with you. I always thought that one of the biggest cultural ironies is that American Thanksgiving is immediately followed by "Black Friday" or whatever it's called, the day where excessive consumerism is expected and encouraged.

I just love that. One day, we give thanks for all the crap we got, but the next day, get in the car and let's go to Future Shop, kids, cause our TV is not big enough.

I'm with you, man. Join me and encourage others in observing Buy Nothing Day (google it!). Let's reclaim Thanksgiving!

Matt, Kara, Hunter and Cavan said...

Love the post!!

All the more reason people should move out of the city and relax in smaller communities. I believe it is easier to stay out of the rat-race or the keeping up with the Jones' when you are living a simpler life away from the city.

I know it works for us!

Sarah N said...

Michael, can you please pick me up some brand X attractiveness-enhancer? I'd thank you, but instead I need to go online shopping. :)
Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Anonymous said...

Incredibly well-said! Would it be already if I linked back to you for a "Thankful Thursday" post?

Meandering Michael said...

Please, be my guest!