Of all the holidays in the United States Thanksgiving Day is by far the best. There is not another holiday of the year that I like more than Thanksgiving. Kids come home from college to see their friends and families. We all get together and don’t exchange gifts. There’s an epic and gargantuan meal, football and three days afterward before we have to go back to work and school.
Travel wise, the airports are absolute madness and traffic miserable but these days trouble at the airport seems not to be limited to Thanksgiving.
For whatever reason having the television on with the Thanksgiving Day parade is a tradition (yes I’ve gone and it’s better on TV for sure.) And you don’t really sit down and watch the parade, it’s more like you steal a glance every now and again to see if the Snoopy, Bart Simpson or whatever cartoon character will crash into a light pole heading down Broadway at Macy’s. Also, for whatever reason, the people on the street all look really cold – sort of like New Year’s Eve.
Oh and there’s football too. Nothing beats falling into a wine (any alcohol will do) and tryptophan induced sleep watching a game between two NFL teams you really don’t care about. And the football games that seemingly continue all weekend both professional and college are only matched by the seemingly unending leftovers which seem to last the entire weekend and beyond. (I know I always come upon some unidentifiable thing in the refrigerator in mid-December that is an uneaten relic from Thanksgiving).
Retailers love Thanksgiving as the prospect of Black Friday is like sugar plums dancing before their eyes. Although with the American economy still muddling along it might be more of a Grey Friday than a Black one.
Thanksgiving has come a long way since the 1621 feast enjoyed by the colonists and Wampanoag Indians. In 1789 George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation by the national government of the United States; in it, he called upon Americans to express their gratitude for the happy conclusion to the country’s war of independence and the successful ratification of the U.S. Constitution. It was not until 1863 in the middle of the Civil War that Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed a national holiday to be held each November. The rumor that Joe Paterno was coaching his Nittany Lions that day is apparently untrue.
And while I suppose that the loss of the practice actually giving thanks for the blessing bestowed upon us is unfortunate, I wouldn’t change a thing about Thanksgiving.
What’s your favorite holiday?