Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dear Pilgrims, we're sorry. (an open letter)

Dear Pilgrims,
     We're sorry. For what, you might ask? For the fact that we have completely abandoned your holiday. Yes back in 1621 in Plymouth, MA you sat down with some Indian Native American friends for a nice meal. They helped you cultivate the land in order to avoid starvation. You helped them contract smallpox.

This meal would become a tradition. In fact just a mere 320 years after your meal, the president would go on to make this a national holiday. People around the country (yes, we became our own country, but that's another story) looked forward to sitting down with their friends and families and enjoying a bountiful meal just like you did.

Then something happened. Christmas. What's that you say? You celebrated Christmas too? I'm sure you did. But you celebrated Christmas at the end of December. Now we start celebrating Christmas at the end of August. To be honest, you guys don't even get any recognition any more.

We don't wear large black hats and for most of us, buckles on shoes are tacky. To be honest, your holiday gets a cursory nod as something that happens between Halloween and Christmas....oh....I probably shouldn't have said that. Even Halloween (that holiday preferred by witches all and things evil) is more popular than Thanksgiving.

You might be wondering how people can even think about Christmas before Thanksgiving. It's called Black Friday. You see, at midnight on Thanksgiving Day, millions of people line up outside of stores and marketplaces in order to get the best deal on sub-standard quality merchandise.

In the span of 12 hours we go from being thankful for family, to being thankful that we could get a $3 blender before an old lady scoots in on a motorized cart. It's sad, really. Black Friday has caused people to spend all day of Thanksgiving getting ready for the day AFTER Thanksgiving. It doesn't make a lot of sense but here we are.

We also need to apologize for the Detroit Lions. They play football every single Thanksgiving. The only people thankful for that is whatever team gets to beat them. It's horrible and almost not worth watching.

But most of all I need to apologize for the Thanksgiving Day parade. I know that you are probably overjoyed that your holiday now has an official parade. Now millions of people will see an entire parade devoted to being thankful. Right? In fact the most exciting part of the parade is when Santa comes through on his sleigh. That's right. The best part of the Thanksgiving parade is the mention that we can't wait until Christmas.

I don't want to make it sound like we're all not thankful. Some of us are. People who own fitness centers love Thanksgiving because in just over a month their memberships are going skyrocket (then fall off in March). Turkey farms make a killing (pun intended). And college students get fed well for the first time this semester.

But as a whole, we need to apologize. We have hijacked your holiday and turned it into a glorified buffet. I don't know, maybe you and the Native Americans left your meal and went to the local market and waited in line to buy cheap butter churners. But I don't think you did.

We're sorry. We'll try to do better next year.

Jon (and the rest of America)

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