Thanksgiving 2003

Thanksgiving turkeyUntil I hit junior high I was convinced that Thanksgiving was invented to keep kids’ minds off presents for another month. Outside of the classroom, everything was essentially Christmas. When the witches and ghosts came off the shelves on 1 November, the Santas and reindeer went right up. Somewhere along the line poor old Thanksgiving was completely overlooked in the “spirit of the season.” Stores and malls and street corners and homes were adorned with countless lights and decorations in an effort to outdo the neighbors. Every year it had to be bigger and better.

And what were we, America’s third graders, doing in recognition? We were making construction paper turkeys that looked suspiciously like our outstretched fingers, fashioning little Pilgrim hats and shoes with silver buckles, and practicing endlessly for plays about Mayflowers and Pilgrims and Sqantos and Cornucopias. We wore cute little felt beards with no mustaches and borrowed our Mother’s black coats to make the costumes complete. After all, that’s what Pilgrims looked like, right?

What the public school system failed to mention was that, unless one of those Pilgrims was a direct relation of yours, they failed to contribute anything significant to the building of America as a whole. I didn’t care that they were fleeing religious persecution, almost crash landed at Plymouth Rock, and then damn near starved to death because the didn’t know anything about agriculture if not for the Indian’s help. What I cared about in the third grade was the next snow day and what was for lunch. I enjoyed every bite because I knew that immediately following we’d be marching around a stage like robots reciting lines about hard winters, thankfulness, and the generosity of God.

And what was the one thing I was truly thankful for during this whole evolution?

That my ancestors were not Pilgrims.

This Thanksgiving, let’s be thankful for real reasons, i.e. health, happiness, and freedom, and leave the incompetent wilderness ninnies in the funny little clothes out of it.

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The author.Born in the year of the Dragon, the author grudgingly accepts the fact he has too many interests and not enough time. A cyclist as long as he can remember, an avid yet inconsistent writer since age eleven, and a U.S. Marine since age twenty-one, the author also adds peak bagging, diving, snowboarding, and computers to his list of interests. Incidentally, he is aware of his inability to make a living from any but the Corps. The author accepts this as fact and remains optimistic. Feel free to drop him a line.

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