Good morning Fackers. And Happy Thanksgiving to you. Of course, Thanksgiving isn't until tomorrow technically, but let's face it, you've already checked out mentally. If you're not off from work/school already, today is your last day before that sweet, sweet four day weekend. At worst you're completely non-functional this morning. At best you'll be counting the minutes until the whistle blows.
Though perhaps not as often as we do with music or vulgarity, we like to pepper our posts here with some American History. And the history of Thanksgiving is distinctively American. It's a tradition stemming from the earliest European settlers of our continent, who despite fleeing their homeland in search of religious freedom, spending months upon the Atlantic Ocean, landing hundreds of miles from their intended destination, surviving a harsh northern winter, and suffering the indignity of inhabiting what would become Red Sox Nation, took the time give thanks for a bountiful harvest, celebrating with their Native American neighbors - a situation that was far too rare in the nation's history.
The tradition was observed, sporadically at least, throughout the colonial days and into the early years of nationhood. Though it didn't become an official holiday until it was signed into law just weeks after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, it had been unofficially celebrated anually since a proclamation from President Lincoln at the height of the Civil War. That the unofficial and official births of the holiday came during such dire times in American History speaks volumes as to how important it is to pause and be thankful for the good things, no matter how bad everything else may be.
Thanksgiving is easily, absolutely, positively, without doubt, indisputably, hands down my favorite holiday. There's no debate between religious and secular societies as to what the "true meaning" is. There's no pressure to find "the perfect gift". It hasn't been commandeered by furniture stores or car dealerships as an excuse to have a sale. It isn't something that can be claimed as holiday specifically for a particular nationality or culture. It isn't a holiday whose original intent has been obscured by becoming the "official" start of the summer, or the middle of the summer, or the end of the summer. It wasn't concocted by the greeting card, candy, floral, or jewelry industry. It's not a celebration of simply flipping the calendar or an excuse for those who can't handle their alcohol to binge drink.
It's so simple that its name says it all. It's a day to pause and reflect, put aside all the garbage that we bitch about and let bog us down all the other days of the year and just give thanks - to God, to Allah, to Buddha, to Ganesh, to random chance, to whatever - for all the good things that we do have in our lives. I know that's not something I do nearly often enough. A friend of mine is fond of saying "If everyone threw all their problems into one big pile, chances are everyone would want to take their own back". I think that's true, and I'm thankful we have this holiday to remind us of that. If that's not enough, we get to smother copious amounts of food in gravy, cap it off with pie, and nap off the tryptophan coma while watching football. It doesn't get much better than that.
So Happy Thanksgiving Fackers. We're thankful that you choose to visit this little corner of the internet and we hope that you and your families have a great holiday. I'll step down from my soap box now.