| Why We Don’t do Thanksgiving|
First, we need to have some history of Thanksgiving in order to understand this story. The Pilgrims, who had buckles on their hats and pants around their ankles, started Thanksgiving. They started it to have something to do on the last Thursday in November since football had not been invented.
At first, it was just a small gathering of Pilgrims and Indians and the sharing of a small meal. It continued to grow until the Pilgrims started shooting Indians. This caused a lack of interest on the part of the Indians. The Pilgrims continued both the meal and the shooting traditions until the birth of John Wayne. He took over the shooting part.
The Indians quit the whole thing and moved west, followed closely by Wayne and several calvary regiments. The Indians started their own celebration involving burning Columbus and Pilgrims in effigy.
The Pilgrims continued the meal-sharing tradition. Soon, the menu evolved into a set pattern. It included roast turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and liver and onions. The leftover liver and onions was put into the holes dug for planting the next year’s crop. It was dropped from the menu not long after the Pilgrims quit farming and started making little working models of the Mayflower to sell to tourists.
This concludes the history part. I can now tell why my family does not do Thanksgiving anymore.
It used to start in late October, with the whole family hunting for a turkey. We would read and compare sale ads from every grocery store for miles. There would be long and sometimes violent arguments about which was better, a low price on the turkey or a free turkey if you bought fifty dollars worth of groceries. This was when fifty dollars worth of groceries would feed every Pilgrim in Massachusetts.
After all the arguments, we usually settled on the fifty dollars and the free turkey, since our family out-numbered the Pilgrims. Planning, preparation and purchasing would start about the tenth of November. It would often take a week just to figure out who was going to sit where, since our family was always arguing and making up. Some years, no one could sit next to anybody. We had a Thanksgiving dinner takeout.
There was also the problem of asking the blessing or saying grace. It is hard enough to get two Baptists to agree on something. It is impossible to get a mixture of Baptists, Episcopalians, Catholics, Methodists, Unitarians, Masons, Rotarians, and five Vegans to agree on what to talk to God about. When asked to say grace, the safe way is to stand up, clear your throat and say “Grace” and sit down. That is all. Just say the one word, Grace, then shut up.
Then, there was the year that Bob, whose claim to fame is that he serves as town drunk for three different towns on a rotating basis, tossed his salad in the dressing.
And one of our aunts is the sole supporter of two pharmaceutical companies. She takes so many pills that she rattles when she walks.
It has finally reached the point that the few of us that are closer to normal are not willing to be in the same room with the others, let alone share a meal. I do love them, but it is best done from a great distance.
As the saying goes, “You can choose your friends, but you are stuck with your family.” And our family put the “fun” in dysfunctional. It is hard to pick a black sheep out of all the shades of gray. But, they are my family and no matter what I say about them, you better keep your mouth off of them.