Thanksgiving

I do not celebrate the one in November. It’s a fiction, and a secular holiday that really hasn’t much history to boast of. It seems pointless (mostly because my true Summer-ending is in September) and irrational to have one in our region when snow has been on the ground for a couple of months.

Thanksgiving was declared a holiday by Abe Lincoln, back in 1863 because there were so many various holidays in different regions that it was a chaos during autumn into winter, and a woman writer asked for a unification to be called (I forget her name at the moment) and BAM-  it has been untouched until 1970 (350th anniversary of the Pilgrims), and into today.

So, on this coming Thursday I’ll probably be eating a tuna-fish or chicken sandwich, and metalworking. Sure, it’s damned nice to have a four day weekend, but the reasoning behind the holiday baffles me. No, I won’t be going to any celebration, because it’s horrifically redundant to me. In my small tradition, it’s done and celebrated. The season has changed. I am not the type to do something because ‘everyone else is doing it,‘ or ‘it’s always been this way,’ because I think, question, and research. Commercials and consumerism will not sway me on that issue, because I do have a deep value of the Sacred. It makes me feel very alien during the holiday season, but I’ve become used to this from extensive living overseas.

If there is no real reason behind it, I find no point in the effort. Besides, I’m more of a wild duck or goose diner, than one for a store-bought turkey. And I’m taking this holiday season to lick my wounds, and recover from horrific tragedy that has struck us in the past three months. To redefine my joys, and reaffirm the ‘why’s,’ to the rest of my tiny tradition. It’ll be a quiet, and hopefully recuperative winter.

Sometimes a bear has to ‘den,’ some winters, ya know?

In fairness, here are some links about Autumn:

Here, for one documentary about Thanksgiving.

Another one about Thanksgiving.

Here’s another one for a belated Halloween.

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Categories: Uncategorized | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Thanksgiving

  1. Elizabeth

    I’m always amused at how many people assume Thanksgiving is a religious (i.e. Christian) holiday.

    I do celebrate the national Thanksgiving as a way to connect with non-pagan friends and loved ones, and to give thanks to the spirits who have kept me fed all year. However, I actually do live in an area where the harvest’s end coincides with the end of November, so it makes more sense than when I lived, say, in southern New Mexico 😛

  2. I don’t put any religion to it, as i know it’s a political move – not spiritual. Out here, the harvests have been done since September, another reason a November holiday is wierd to me. I have been insulted by the ‘c’mon, celebrate the real thanksgiving with us,’ ploy – as if my beliefs were little more than a hobby. OUCH.

    I used to do what you do, but the forced prayers and non-acceptance have taught me a thing or two for my own fold. Some aren’t so bad at all – but they’re a beloved small majority amongst a large number. If my in-laws called me, sure (in a heart-beat). But the large gatherings… I’ll pass.

    • Elizabeth

      Well, I should’ve clarified by mentioning that it’s been several years since I’ve spent Thanksgiving with my blood relations, since I live clear across the US from most of them. The household where I live is composed of other pagans, and since the church we all belong to has already had three harvest/hunting/butchering festivals by this time of year, mostly we just get our friends together and eat and hang out. Also, a number of people we know are LGBT folks who are estranged from their biological families, so there is always an open invitation to others in the church to come spend the day with us.

      The giving thanks to land-wights and animals and plants is something I do on my own, since the neo-pagan rituals our church does largely focus on the gods as the givers of fruitfulness. Nothing wrong with that, but as I’m an animist as well as a polytheist, I like to give credit everywhere it is due, and my solitary practice is as important to me (more so, in some ways) than the group celebrations that I’m involved in.

  3. The Greeks have a holiday that roughly corresponds to this one. It is one about family or family groups. That is how I treat it.

    • Groovy! That is a nice interpretation. How do you handle others if they disagree with your path? ( Asking advice)

      • My mom disagrees but she doesn’t treat me any differently. So does my sister. It was many years before I told them and they believe I’m a good person just misguided. All you do is treat them the way you hope to be treated and try to not let them get to you. If they get rude then stay away. Hugs. I’ve been lucky and I feel for those that have troubles with others because of their beliefs.

  4. I tend to view Thanksgiving as NaNoWriMo Catch Up Day, but then, I don’t have any local family anyway.

  5. Being French, I have a hard time relating to the traditional Thanksgiving thing, especially knowing what it is all about. Now my husband & I live faraway from friends & family and to give him a sense of “normalcy” (for a change), I cook a European inspired seasonal meal (no turkey on steroids though, I’d blow up my oven before it’s even cooked) with the intent of being grateful & giving thanks for what we have and to the spirits of the land which have been quite generous (several gigantic butternut squashes…enough for my skin to turn orange I think).

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