I’m always intrigued by this day. Not because we are so far removed from the event that this day celebrates, but more because of some of the… odd stuff… that we do because it is Thanksgiving. It all starts really early in the day… sometimes as early as 4 AM for some. That’s when the oven needs to start heating so you can cook your turkey from frozen to fabulous in 8-10 hours.
Now, this poor appliance that we loving refer to as “the oven” or, more appropriately, the cremation chamber as the case may warrant, is going to have a busy day. In one day, it cooks a four course dinner including the main course (turkey, of course), all side dishes (green-bean casserole and dinner rolls, anyone?) and great gory gobs of desserts (“Do you want pumpkin pie or pecan pie?” “Yes!”). All of this hubbub begins roughly between 4 and 6 AM and continues until the dinner is over some 8 hours later. Now, I usually don’t have emotional reactions regarding my appliances, but this almost seems like cruel and unusual punishment.
After the commencement of this flogging of the appliances, we have this very odd display known as the Macy’s Parade. For some reason, Macy’s retail stores sees fit to host an entire parade on Thanksgiving Day……… to celebrate Christmas? If that wasn’t bad enough, the tradition has now spread to every corner of the nation. Not only are scores of people waking up early on Thanksgiving Day to watch a parade celebrating Christmas… but now many a city have their OWN Thanksgiving Parade to celebrate Christmas.
Following the parades, we then come to the next tradition of this “All-American Holiday”… football. It started some 74 years ago in Detroit as a way to promote professional football as “more important” than College football (even though College football is arguably more interesting to watch) and has managed to just kind of hang around since. 32 years after the first game in Detroit, the Dallas Cowboys got in on the act, and within the last decade the NFL has seen fit to add a third game between two teams to be named later. So on a holiday to thank God for a bountiful harvest and to thank the Indians for showing us how to cultivate corn… millions of us crowd around our televisions in our own homes to watch a bunch of over-paid overweight guys beat the $#!^ out of each other and eat a six legged “turkey” courtesy of Fox Sports.
Usually, by the end of the Lions game your turkey is properly singed for the eating. So out of the oven it comes, and we eat it promptly between 3 pm and 4 pm when almost no one in their right mind is actually hungry. In fact, we let ourselves go hungry at noon specifically so that we could pork out three hours later… after the hunger pains have decided to wait to kill us until 7 pm. So, after chowing on enough calories to last you for an entire week and thinking at least once about hurling your green bean casserole until you see your toes coming out your mouth… midnight rolls around… leftovers begin calling your name from the fridge… you want to resist, but your guts are complaining to you enough that you can’t sleep anyway—you get out of bed to “walk it off” and then “wander” right by the fridge… the door “mysteriously” pops open… and you suddenly remember how amazing that turkey was once you got past the charcoal on the outside… Well, you shouldn’t let it go to waste……… an hour later, you are asking God to take you now. Oh, and five hours later, you find yourself in line at your local retailer to laugh at all the odd people who are turning into raving lunatics over Tickle-me-Elmo and “Transformers” actions figures.
That being said, no matter where on the timeline you find yourself today, have a happy Christmas-wannabe… uh… Thanksgiving!