Angry Pilgrim

It’s almost Halloween and I’m excited! It’s one of the most favorite holidays for me. Maybe people don’t consider Halloween a holiday, but I certainly do. Dressing up and pretending to be something you either really want to be, or want to scare the crap out of others is fun. The decorations are fun. The parties are fun. The creativity that encompasses Halloween is probably what makes it the funnest holiday of all.

So, as I’m enjoying my morning walk to the Starbucks, I’m smelling the fresh autumn air, hearing the leaves crunch underneath my feet, looking at all the houses decorated with pumpkins, mums, spiders, webs….all the good stuff, and then I get downtown….

My Halloween happy mask has now turned into an angry pilgrim mask.

I see a cherry picker with a guy stringing up christmas lights. WTF? EVERY SINGLE YEAR THIS HAPPENS! Poor, pitiful Thanksgiving gets shoved under the bus to make room for big, bad Santa.

I am an Angry Pilgrim. I love Thanksgiving (right after Halloween). Dave and I cook Thanksgiving dinner every year and we enjoy the whole preparation, cooking together in the kitchen and of course, eating a juicy turkey with all the trimmings. It’s the ONE holiday that hasn’t gone commercial on me….or anyone. And, that’s why I love it.

Thanksgiving hasn’t lost its meaning. So, when I complained to Dave about the fact that Thanksgiving just gets the heave ho as far as holidays go – completely almost unrecognizable except for paper appetizer plates and napkins with turkeys on it, he said, “Well, how do you expect people to decorate their homes for Thanksgiving? And, I might add, it’s not like a big block buster holiday for the mall.”

“See?” I said. “You’re just like everyone else. Where is your creativity? Think Pilgrims! Think Plymouth Rock! Think Indians!” I said.

“Wait. You can’t use indians. It’s racial.”

“What??? That’s what Thanksgiving is about! The pilgrims and indians getting together for a big feast and offering “thanks” for the gifts that each one had brought to the table.”

“You can’t do that today. People will think you’re making a racial slur about indians if you promote or sell anything “indian like” at the mall.”

“Ok”, I said. “Then, perhaps we need to rewrite history so as not to offend anyone out there….Indians or Pilgrims?”

“You just can’t use any ethnic type of wording when you promote Thanksgiving, that’s all,” He said. “People get all sensitive about it.”

That’s like saying, “Happy Holidays”  or “Seasons Greetings” instead of “Merry Christmas”. We don’t want to offend anyone.

So, in this corner, it’s Thanksgiving – the uncommercialized national holiday that gets skipped over year after year because it doesn’t make money for anyone. But, to me it’s one of the best holidays ever because it’s peaceful, non-stressful and not very time consuming. I mean, there aren’t alot of pre-Thanksgiving parties, are there? You don’t have to buy presents, there is no tree or other ornamental and possibly sacrificial item that you need to put up. The only thing being sacrificed is a turkey – and they’re idiots anyway, so who cares….unless you’re a vegetarian then you can eat the mashed potatoes.

In the other corner it’s Christmas. The BIGGEST, MOST IMPORTANT RETAIL SEASON of them all. It’s promoted from October 31st thru January 2nd the following year. You can’t go anywhere without seeing christmas lights, christmas trees, christmas crap, hearing christmas songs (although I like that part), sending out christmas cards, receiving christmas catalogs………HUNDREDS of catalogs to clog  your mailbox as well as your email inbox.

People lost the purpose of what Christmas is really about because they’re too cranky and pissed off running from one store to another, checking off their lists, making cookies, going to someone’s party they have to go to, making stuff for their kid’s school christmas parties, and having to deal with all that holiday traffic…..AND parking, not to mention rude people at the mall who will walk slowly in front of you and stop mid stride so you can bump into their ass while they stare at the Stride Rite off beige men’s shoe with velcro straps in the window.

Thanksgiving is none of that. Although I’m an angry pilgrim for people losing site of the holiday, I guess I should be thankful that it’s been treated like a leftover.  At least I can enjoy a non-stressful holiday until the BIG ONE comes along.


One thought on “Angry Pilgrim

  1. I just read your blog and enjoyed it very much. It made me think of the Chicago Tribune’s “Injun Summer” by John T. McCutcheon that appeared in the paper every fall from 1912 to 1992. As a kid, I loved it when my father read it to me. As an adult, I fondly recalled my father every year when it reappeared. As I re-read it recently, I was struck by how politically incorrect it was in a hundred different ways, leading, I’m sure, to its cancellation. And yet, at heart, it’s a snapshot of a grandfather teaching his grandson to observe nature and to use his imagination to envision novel possibilities. Nothing could be more in keeping with the teachings of Native Americans. It was my father who taught me to slough off the cultural noise and pay attention to life’s deeper meanings. In a very real way, he was like an old Indian chief and the grandfather in the paper. I miss him dearly.

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