Thanksgiving is the one holiday that I have really never understood. Most of the holidays that we celebrate here in the U.S. are based on mythology that goes back to long before Christianity. Chrsitmas is celebrated because some ancient cult had a festival at the winter solstice, it was sort of absorbed into Christianity as the day of the birth of Christ, as well as some jolly fellow in a red suit. I don’t know why Christmas was scheduled a few days after the solstice,my best guess is that they (by they I am meaning the church in ancient times) wanted to give contemporary cults time to celebrate their tradition, while training their children in both… Bam!, Christmas is born (whether Christ was born anywhere near that time is a hot topic for Religious Scholars, doesn’t matter a bit to me though).
Mythology is where the average U.S. citizen would place the Gods that the people of ancient Greece or Rome believed in. Add a couple of hundreds of years and I bet the Religious Scholars will be laughing about Christianity, then place it squarely in the Mythology category.
There are many holidays that don’t celebrate any religious right (unless you consider secretaries Holy), but Thanksgiving has to be the most obscure of them all.
Thanksgiving is purported to be an annual feast that marks the day that the Native Americans invited the new settlers over for a grand supper. Wild Turkey was involved (whether that was the animal or the drink I certainly don’t know). Next thing you know the Native Americans are being slaughtered to near extinction.
That is not a Holiday. How does that though process go? Let us all celebrate the day that the Native Americans invited us to a huge feast, then we killed them by the thousands, raped their wives and daughters, forced them to move more and more west, until they (the ones who didn’t fight back) were eventually nicely stored in concentration camps reservations. Yeah! Let’s celebrate that! Hell, nobody had anything to do in November anyway.
Thanksgiving has transformed itself a bit over the years. It has become more of a yearly family reunion than a celebration. It is one out of two Holidays, that I can think of, that you really have to be at. Doctors, Surgeons, anyone in the emergency medicine line of work really, Firefighters (though they are likely on call), and 24-hour convenience mart employees have to work that day, the rest of us really have to go to the November family reunion.
I long for those days.
Thanksgiving, for myself and most of the relatives on my wife’s side of the family, is going to be a day spent at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix. The Mother-in-law is still there. She had an additional surgery on Monday (to reinforce one of the bones in her upper arm), there is no way that she is going to be out of the hospital by Thursday. It is extremely important that everyone is there, not because she might die ( fear of imminent death has been resolved long ago), but because she needs to know that we are all willing her to overcome the issues ( some call it praying, but when it gets right down to it God created the cancer, therefore God has the cure, right? I put a lot more faith in my ability to just wish it away, hmm., I guess I am religious).
What is really, truly, sad is that I would likely have never written this post if my Mother-in-law had not been in the hospital. I have no doubt that the hospital’s Thanksgiving meal is going to suck, but I am going to be there eating it anyway. I guess now is the time that I should be thankful that I am not the one in the hospital.
What are you thankful for?