The Ghost of Thanksgiving Future

elephant beth tourekRemember when you were a kid and there was that one holiday where your whole family would get together and eat turkey and cranberries and be thankful and stuff? Leading up to this splendid feast, there was a whole season of November fun – making caramel apples, jumping in your neighbor’s leaves, and drawing crayon hand-turkeys just like the pilgrims used to do. And it all culminated in a day of togetherness, thankfulness, football, and glorious gluttony.

Decades later, Thanksgiving dinner is just the carbo loading one does before embarking on a kill-or-be-killed run to Wal-Mart. If it weren’t for the single Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade-sized turkey inflatable on the next block, I would never know Thanksgiving was two weeks away. Black Friday has been slowly creeping into Thanksgiving’s personal space for years, and now it apparently starts on Veterans Day; Christmas lights have been hung and lit; and I have not seen a single crayon hand-turkey. All this, coupled with the sweet potato’s rise to everyday-edible fame has threatened to downgrade Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day holiday status. I refuse to let this happen.

For those who know me, you may be surprised that I care. In fact, I’ve written before about how little I enjoy Thanksgiving (insert questionable green bean casserole flashback here). I’m one of those crazy shoppers who heads to Macy’s at midnight with the Christmas station on in the car, and the trees – yes, trees – go up hours later. But I give Thanksgiving its 24 hours – and I vow to do a better job of giving it its whole season now too.

Here is my list of how I intend to give Thanksgiving its proper due:

  1. I will watch every Thanksgiving episode of Friends to get in the holiday spirit
  2. I will incessantly ask all my friends and family why they are thankful this season
  3. I will incessantly tell all my friends and family why I am thankful this season
  4. I will reroute my daily drive to go by the neighbor’s inflatable turkey
  5. If I see Christmas lights, I will outwardly scowl
  6. I will stop eating sweet potato fries (at least between now and Thanksgiving)
  7. If I hear Wham singing “Last Christmas” in Brookstone, I will stomp out of the store
  8. I will return the extra Christmas tree I already bought and rebuy it in December
  9. I will ignore every instinct to eat figgy pudding
  10. I will make a crayon hand-turkey

Aside from that, I suspect the best way to keep the holiday relevant for myself and my family is to come up with a few new traditions to bring to the season. Any suggestions? Anyone else noticing a lack of Thanksgiving spirit around here this year?

Related post: It’s Beginning to Sound a Lot Like Christmas, Boots, Shorts and Other Great Things About Fall, Black Friday Survival

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About WhiteElephantInTheRoom

I'm an 80s music lover, traveling junkie, mac & cheese connoisseur, amateur wine snob, party-planning priestess and Chicago transplant living in Southern California. I find adventure in the everyday and have a unending compulsion to write about it. Hope you enjoy reading my mind!
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6 Responses to The Ghost of Thanksgiving Future

  1. Jason says:

    Wow… I totally agree. We made up a few rule a few years ago: 1) We don’t put out a single Christmas decoration until December 1st; 2) We don’t listen to any of the Christmas CD’s/mp3’s until then either (and there are some which are sooo Christmas-y they have to wait until the 2nd or 3rd week of December.

    Even though the rest of America can do as it wishes, I think these little “rules” keep Christmas in its bounds — giving both autumn and Thanksgiving their due. Plus, it really does make the Christmas season seem a bit more special too!

  2. Jessie Reyna says:

    I agree, Thanksgiving has lost its spark. I mostly blame Black Friday. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday because it reminds me of Christmas without all the pressure of opening gifts. You can lounge around all day in sweaters with wine and hot cocoa and wait for the food to cook.

  3. cat9984 says:

    Wham! did “Last Christmas”? I work in retail and that song is on constant loop. Ugh! More on point – I think we go from Halloween directly to Christmas. (Except for the turkey napkins.)

  4. MichelleV says:

    Too true!! The season has definitely changed. I’ll also vow to make a few hand-turkeys this year 😉

  5. This…is beautiful. I agree with so much agreement. I may have to write a post on my own blog about this. 😉

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