Monday, November 17, 2014

It's Just Turkey

I've never really been one for Thanksgiving. The holiday, that is. As for the art of giving thanks itself, well I try to do that all year long. But the holiday?

I truly don't care that much for turkey and while I do eat it, leftover turkey just seems like a chore I can live without. I've heard people say how Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday ever. Really? I never understood that.

Maybe it's because growing up, my extended family didn't have big family gatherings at Thanksgiving. (There were just so many of us and we were all spread out.)  My dad traveled for work and was often gone over Thanksgiving. My mom slept all day because it was her shift at the hospital that night. Even on the off years she didn't have to work, we didn't make a big to-do out of Thanksgiving. One year we painted the basement and ate deli turkey sandwiches.

Another year my mom and dad decided to take us to Chicago, to visit the museums. We lived in northern Indiana, and Chicago really wasn't all that far away. Traffic on I80 was pretty decent on Thanksgiving day too. After the museums, we ate dinner in China town. My father ordered the duck. Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra. We had so much fun, it became something we did often on Thanksgiving.

Other than wearing stretchy pants so you can overload on carbs and binge-eat a plethora of desserts with family, I'm not sure what the hype is. I mean, don't we do the same thing at Easter? I know I do.

Perhaps it's the Football, or Macy's parade, or the annual turkey shoot that gets your adrenaline going. I think for me, honestly, the best part of Thanksgiving is having a FIVE day weekend!

So, here's another thing I don't get: people getting upset when others choose to set out Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving. Whenever I hear, "Christmas decor already? It's not even Thanksgiving yet!" I think, "Really? People are upset we're not giving Tom Turkey his "fair share" of the spotlight? They do know Christmas is about Christ, right?"

Besides, if we are truly celebrating the holiday as it was meant to be, then we should have a spirit of gratitude in our hearts to those who came before us, trailblazing the way for our life of opportunities and freedoms, and grateful for our bounteous blessings, and all that other stuff. Correct me if I'm wrong, but that sort seems, well, Christian. Doesn't it?

And I get that it's the commercialism of Christmas people don't like to see started so early. But, if decorating one's house and playing festive music makes them feel the charitable spirit of Christmas, then I say, go for it! Decorate before Thanksgiving!

This year, we are traveling to my parents' house (now in NV) for Thanksgiving. I plan to pack my stretchy pants, and knowing them, it's likely we'll eat Chinese food at some point over the weekend too. But being gone means I won't have the long weekend to decorate my own house for Christmas.

So, if you should happen to see the Christmas lights on before Tom Turkey has made his debut, just know that I will still enjoy my 5 day Thanksgiving weekend, I will still try to have a spirit of gratitude, and I will still overload on carbs and binge-eat desserts.

Bottom line, I will still enjoy Thanksgiving, and maybe even more so, knowing I won't have to come home and put up Christmas decorations.


Ruthykins said...

I don't decorate for Christmas until after thanksgiving, usually the day after. I just can't justify it to myself to decorate "early" since I'm planning for Thanksgiving and therefore not in the Christmas mood. I do love Thanksgiving as a holiday. I remember at least once going to our Uncle's house in Griffith for Thanksgiving. We went to Chicago two years in a row and went to the museums and ate dinner in Chinatown. You weren't there the 2nd year, I think. The year after that Dad made stir fry at home and we went to the movies. You were there for that one, I think. You were the one who wanted to go to a movie. I just like visiting with people and eating all the good food. That's what it's all about for me.

Michelle said...

I don't care if others want to do it, it's just not my preference. For me it just doesn't 'feel' like Christmas till after Thanksgiving. Although the lights up at Station Park did give me some of that good ol Christmas Spirit the other night.

EmmaP said...

Once when dad was out of town, mom took us to Chicago. We didn't eat in China town that year. I don't even think I could drive then. It seems like we went again when I was a senior in high school. I cant remember. Then, after I moved back from Hawaii we did thanksgiving again in Chicago with baby Keenan and you guys. Even went to the Sears tower.

Puphigirl said...

We go to my in-laws for Thanksgiving because it seems to be easier to get the family together and the weather is usually nicer for travel than Christmas would be.

I don't like to see houses all decorated for Christmas before Thanksgiving. I guess because I feel they are shortening Fall. I don't want a long winter. And maybe I don't want all the commercialism to start yet.

The last couple of years my daughter and I have set up and decorated the Christmas tree for my mother-in-law the day after Thanksgiving.