Wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving!

For people who arrived in the US as adults, as I did, Thanksgiving does not carry with it the childhood associations that it has for those who are native-born and initially it left me rather cold. But over time, it has become of my favorite holiday for many reasons.

For one thing, it is pretty much a secular holiday. Its religious origins are pretty tenuous and the only religious trappings such as the prayer of thanks are easily dispensed with and replaced with a secular version. For another, there is no gift-giving or card sending or house decorating. It is just an occasion to get together with family and friends or, if one prefers, to spend alone. The traditional meal is not that expensive to prepare and the tradition of everyone bringing food distributes the expense and adds to the sense of camaraderie. It is a good rule of thumb that if you want to bring people together and overcome differences, ask them to bring and share food.

There is another ritual of Thanksgiving and that is to complain about over-eating and dread the tension and fights that can occur as people argue and get angry over various things. I have never experienced this. We have spent the past twenty or so Thanksgivings with good friends who live just a few streets away and there has never been any unpleasantness, maybe because most of the people who attend are friends. It takes relatives, especially close ones, to bring up slights and resentments and unresolved issues from long ago and who know what buttons to push.

So I am thankful that the people at the Thanksgiving dinners I have attended never behaved like those in this video. [Update: However, if you do enjoy Thanksgiving arguments, John Cook gives some advice on how to successfully wage one.]

Blogging will be light over this holiday weekend.


  1. tubi says

    No house decorating? You’ve obviously never met my wife. Just this weekend I replaced the giant outdoor inflatable turkey (which had recently replaced the giant inflatable witch crushed by a jack-o-lantern) with the giant inflatable Santa. She spent the indoors taking down the Thanksgiving items and putting up the Christmas ones.

    Still, I enjoy Thanksgiving if only because I really like cornbread dressing and we don’t eat it any other time of year.

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