The Americans love a good get together and the chance to celebrate. And as we start the countdown to Christmas, over in the states they’re looking forward to Thanksgiving on 22nd November.
Thanksgiving is traditionally meant to mark a successful harvest – and was started as a thank you from the Pilgrim Fathers after they’d collected their crops from the fields in 1621. But it was Abraham Lincoln who decided that Thanksgiving would be celebrated on the last Thursday in November although no-one knows why he chose that particular day. And today, the whole of North America closes down and enjoys a bank holiday with a feast of Turkey and all the trimmings with their families.
So why don’t we celebrate Thanksgiving like our American cousins, instead of our own Harvest Festival?
I think we should start following in American footsteps and enjoy Thanksgiving. And there’s some really compelling reasons why we should too:
1. As I said earlier – it’s a bank holiday!
2. Retail outlets would hold off selling Christmas stuff until after Thanksgiving
3. It would solve the annual “whose parents are we visiting this Christmas?” argument in every household. You go to one set at Thanksgiving and the other at Christmas. Simple
4. It’s better for our kids than the other celebration we’ve copied from America, Halloween. It’s a meal with family rather than knocking on strangers’ doors demanding sweets.
5. As a non-religious festival, there’s no having to buy cards and presents.
Perhaps we could do Thanksgiving in a typically British way. Or in other words, be a bit more reserved than the Yanks. In America it’s all about celebrating a feeling, and an emotion. For being grateful for what we’ve got. So maybe we should all sit down with our families with our favourite meal and simply spend time chatting and being together. And being thankful for that.
A day off work and the chance to stuff our faces with our nearest and dearest. That sounds like something to be thankful for in my book.