Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Problem with Thanksgiving: Part 1

Thanksgiving is nearly upon us and frankly, it isn’t what it used to be. Back when I was a kid in the 1880’s, Thanksgiving was a major holiday, number two of the Big Three: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

For my readers across the pond: Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday celebrating when the first European settlers gave thanks for having survived the trip and were enjoying the bounty offered by the New World. It is remembered by Native Americans somewhat differently. They refer to it as We Should’ve Taken Them Out When Had the Chance Day.

Nowadays, the Christmas decorations go up immediately after the Halloween decorations come down. Thanksgiving is merely a blip on the commercial radar that is the holidays.

So, what happened? Why did Thanksgiving fade to number 3, allowing Halloween to take the coveted number 2 position?

The answer is, of course, marketing.

Tomorrow: Pilgrims and their hats

1 comment:

Scutatus said...

Hmm. I'm aware of Thanksgiving, and what it is supposed to be giving thanks for.

But I've always been somewhat confused about this event. The settlers went on to abuse, exterminate or/and subjugate the Native Americans, stealing their lands along the way. The so called "land of the free" was built on ethnic cleansing, oppression and slavery. And yet the US still commemorates the initial peaceful relations? Isn't that a hypocritical contradiction? Am I missing something?

Like you I do wonder what the descendants of the Native Americans think of Thanksgiving.

I hope American citizens won't take this personally. I'm a Brit, and I'm well aware that many of those abusive settlers would have largely been British in origin, continueing the same Imperialist oppressive attitude that we English practiced with enthusiasm in those times. So this isn't a dig at the USA. I'm just confused is all.

PS. That's a great early Medieval wall you have there. You guys sure know your stuff and I love your style. But how on earth did bandits/raiders get through THAT? One would have needed a small army (in Dark Age/Medieval terms) to breach that wall. We must surely be talking of a bit of "Trojan Horse" subterfuge here? Did they perhaps pretend to be merchants, walk straight in and THEN draw their weapons? :)