I’m calling it; Thanksgiving is dead

I grew up in a huge family. It was large because my grandparents came from large families. This means I had tons of great aunts and great uncles. When any of them showed up for Thanksgiving, and brought their kids, we regularly seated 30 or more people.

Times change. My second cousins grew up and have families of their own, as do I. The great aunts & uncles are mostly dead now, along with my grandparents. The all night pinochle events are a thing of the past.

We still manage the occasional big celebration, but I live in a different state than everyone else now.

This year, it’s just my wife and I. She works at a hospital and has to work Thanksgiving day. I will pre-bake my dinner rolls the night before and put the turkey on in the morning. She will show up mid day and we will have our dinner. I have to work Friday, but it’s a government job.

I respect the idea that some professions work. I want the hospitals open, the fire station on standby, and the military available. Our daughter works retail, and has to work Thanksgiving day. This I don’t understand.

People today aren’t as close as they used to be. We’re obsessed with our cell phones and social media. Couples even text each other over a common table; I’ve seen it. Thanksgiving is archaic by today’s standards.

Black Friday erased Thanksgiving from our culture. Heaven forbid we miss shopping in favor of sharing a meal with the family and friends we only see occasionally. I can see a day where people will forget how to cook a turkey. Mom took them shopping instead of showing the kids the ropes. Might as well, the stores are open. Maybe someday they’ll breed turkeys the size of cornish game hens. That way some of us can hold onto the tradition for another decade or so. Once I become part of the oldest generation, this holiday will be a quaint memory like so many others.

Twenty years from now, people will stop at Subway for a turkey sandwich on their way to Wal-Mart, and that will be the entirety of Thanksgiving. I’m not preaching here, I used to go shopping on Black Friday too, when I was younger. I even like the idea. I don’t like the idea that it has to become Black Thursday now.

It would take an effort of the common people to turn this around, and that isn’t possible. We can’t seem to get more than about 20% to vote on election day. If all of us refused to shop on Thanksgiving, the merchants would stop requiring family disbandment that day. Even if we only took advantage of online shopping it would help. The problem is families don’t really care anymore. This goes back to our social media and cell phones. I’ve seen my own kids texting people at Thanksgiving dinner in the past.

So I’m calling it. Get the toe tag out, Thanksgiving is dead. Park it over next to Pearl Harbor Day and VE Day, other days that were important to a fading generation. I’ll just mix up a Tom & Jerry and reminisce.

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32 Comments

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32 responses to “I’m calling it; Thanksgiving is dead

  1. I’ve been wondering the same thing. I went to a few stores this week and it’s all Christmas. Not a single turkey, so one has to wonder if Thanksgiving was cancelled. I also so an online thing going around stating ‘I Pledge to Not Shop on Thanksgiving’. It’s kind of sad that one even needs a pledge like that and many of these people are simply going to go out on Black Friday to battle the hordes. I know several stores are open for half the day, but those are food stores. That kind of makes sense in case somebody needs a last minute meal. Everything else makes no sense.

    This year is a small holiday for my family. I’m actually doing the cooking and it’ll be cornish hens instead of turkey. Smaller for a small group and I don’t like turkey. It’s sad how this holiday is vanishing.

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    • It is sad, but also interesting. We no longer celebrate certain religious feasts. I’m sure the ancients wouldn’t understand why we don’t celebrate the festival of Mars and whatever else they had.

      Times change and so do our priorities. Look at Christmas as if you were an alien arriving on Earth in December. What is it all about? The priorities changed.

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      • Events definitely fade away over time. The evolution of Halloween is another good example. I’ve heard at one point it was only Samhein then Christians made Halloween to ‘compete’ and then it steadily became what it is today.

        I think Christmas would throw aliens off pretty quickly. Not just in December. Probably go with September through December these days.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Well we dont have Thsnksgiving over here, but I always understood it was pretty major over your way. We eat turkey at Christmad, se we have an over abundance of them right now. Halloween straight into Crimbo according to the shops.

    Im not religious but I do enjoy Christmas. However I hate the commerciality of it, and all our holiidays. Its all about what you spend. Govrrnments encourage it, for the sake of the economy, but it sickens me that it starts in November now.

    Maybe it is best to just scrap these holidays…

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    • I have many international followers, and knew they might not have quite the fealty to this post. I still think it’s important to reflect upon.

      It was a celebration for bringing in a good harvest. A harvest that would allow them to survive the winter. It absolutely had a religious tone, but that isn’t so relevant. People can be grateful and reflective without counting their “blessings.”

      As we move away from an agricultural society, and get more connected electronically, something is lost and something is gained. It’s just change.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The rocket scientist and I are doing cornish rock hens. The only child and grandchildren I have in the state are going elsewhere to celebrate Christmas at Thanksgiving with the other half of the family. I’m good with it. Less stress.

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    • I told Old What’s Her Face that lobster is also considered a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. (New England) I suggested we get a couple whoppers and have our holiday that way.

      She likes the turkey and fixings. I don’t get it, because lobster is her favorite.

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  4. agwink1942

    Reblogged this on Kentucky angel and commented:
    This seems to be the way things go now. Christmas starts before Halloween and by Christmas Day we’ve forgotten the meaning. Thanksgiving is “turkey day”, and no one remembers how to cook a turkey. Call me a traditionalist, but I want to turn the clock back.

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  5. agwink1942

    I re-blogged this because I agree with you. We’ve started celebrating Halloween, a pagan ritual, instead of Thanksgiving, a day of giving thanks for our blessings. Christmas stuff shows up in late August here, so by Christmas Day I am sick of the whole thing. I am making my own gifts, but have gone wild purchasing yarn for the afghans and market bags I am making. I hate crowds, so I never, ever shop after Thanksgiving, except for groceries, and then only when absolutely necessary. I have already started hibernation mode for the winter, and will go out only for necessities when absolutely needed. Will cook my own Thanksgiving dinner, and invite friends to enjoy with me, because kids visit their in-laws. I make dumplings, so it’s their loss, my friends can eat what they will be missing.

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    • I’m afraid we’re getting so obsessed with buying things for people who don’t need them, that we’re losing quite a bit.

      We’re still having pumpkin pie and my homemade rolls with our little turkey. All while we pass going to our various jobs.

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  6. I have to agree overall. I’ve only experienced one Black Friday myself, but that was enough to last a lifetime. Our daughter will be preparing a turkey on Friday this year as they will go Thursday to her in-laws. We generally have a quite traditional gathering but as you point out, at least some of us will have to work or will otherwise be unable to join in.

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    • That’s how it starts. Someone always has to work. Stores are too eager to get our money to allow us to hold it for one day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • This year it’s the other daughter’s new job as a customer service rep for a major insurance company. And my best local friend also works for the government so she won’t be at the postponed dinner. JD and I are going to her place on Thursday so she isn’t alone and the daughter who has to work that Friday will likely join us. So technically we get two this year. But you’re absolutely correct that the meaning has changed or disappeared entirely.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. It makes me sick stores are open on Thanksgiving. And even sicker that people go shopping. You won’t catch me out, unless I score tickets to the Lion’s game. No, I’ll be at my brother-in-laws house with my 5 kids. Yes, we are the Uncle Eddy in our family. 🙂

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  8. We forget the things that they can’t use to remind us to buy things we wouldn’t have thought to buy otherwise. My wife’s side of the family still gathers every other year–Thanksgiving this year, Christmas the next–and seats about twenty, but that number is down as the 20-something generation can’t get the time off work to make the long trip to a central location–but when my in-laws grow too old to travel, it’s going to end. My side of the family was done in by death and divorce. There aren’t two dozen of us left. Your post makes me sad, especially because you’re right.

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  9. Amen, my brotha! You have definitely hit one of my MAJOR pet peeves! And you didn’t even mention how Black Friday went not only to Black Thursday but ALSO it went from being a day when you shopped for Christmas gifts for others, to finding the best bargains for yourself! I see that all the time now: Cool new TV! Thanks, I got it on a Black Friday sale! UGH! I’m sure you’ve seen “The Village”… Times like this just make me want to start one of my own. Thanks for spreading the word!

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  10. I didn’t realise thanksgiving was dying out like that over there – I lived in the states from 97-2001 and it still seemed a big deal then, mind you, I was in Vegas so when I say “big deal” it was all about the Thanksgiving day buffets in the casinos, so that’s not quite the traditional family event you’re speaking of! I think Thanksgiving is a nice thing though, it always seemed like Christmas but without all the commercial stuff, but now if all the shops are open, it’s all about the commercial stuff! I made some pumpkin muffins yesterday and thought of Thanksgiving 🙂

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    • It’s all about the corporate dollar today. Huge sales the day after, dubbed Black Friday. BF got too competitive and some corporations jumped ahead of their competitors to Thanksgiving day. Heaven forbid a merchant doesn’t get all of your money and put you in debt to them at the same time.

      Black Friday is best avoided. People get killed in the rush to get in the stores before the sun rises. There are assaults and riots too. Merry Christmas.

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  11. I love Thanksgiving, and the traditions our family has. I hope we always continue them. We’ll be missing one of our daughters and her new wife this year though.
    I never shop on Black Friday. It has always sounded like my worst nightmare. I always try to shop when stores are not crowded.

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    • The traditions are changing. I haven’t played pinochle in twenty years. We used to have enough guests to have a tournament.

      I’m enjoying all the comments and discussion on this post. Everyone feels the same way. It probably means I don’t have many teenage readers. We have to reach a certain maturity to appreciate traditions.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Hmm… should I clock in? I’m sure to rub everyone up the wrong side with this comment 😀 but… these days the “First Class” aka corporate “citizens” are ruling the planet, so this also means they dictate the traditions. Family means nothing to these New Gods, they don’t have one. Each is a selfish, headstrong entity with only rivals and competition.

    They each demand worship, and lots of it – feet in aisles pushing trolleys, and credit cards being overdrawn, and people blowing a lot of their hard-earned money on knick-knacks that, when the chips are down, they look at later and wonder why they ever bought them. Or the “lucky” recipients throw the clutter out again. That is what these holidays are about these days, and social media make them more so… Social media are the voice of exactly the same corporate citizens, and the common deity is… Money…

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    • That’s the most frustrating part of all this. Family is destroyed to feed the corporate engine.

      Surprise, I actually like your comment.

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      • Glad I didn’t offend too much!

        We, the “second-class citizens” (actual humans that were actually born to mothers) have to stand up and kick out the notion that a corporation can be a “citizen” and have “citizen’s rights”. That would be the first step. I’m also closely watching the “Food is Free” project and the movements of the American pagans (their approach is often surprisingly backward, non-materialistic and yet sensible). I think, hope lies that way.

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  13. Pingback: Thanksgiving Countdown: Day 4; Is Thanksgiving A Relic? | Old Road Apples

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