By Craig Funston
This column comes a day after the big day. (Maurice, that means today is Tuesday and yesterday, Monday, was Thanksgiving) I could have penned, er, keyboarded, this last week, but a day late is probably more appropriate than six days early.
That only in occasional columns, of course. In life, early is always better.
I could come up with the usual jokes about stuffed turkeys (birds and otherwise), but I shan’t. Or I could attempt to explain the real reason for Thanksgiving. That’s it’s historical, cultural, and biblical basis, but it could come across as narrow-minded and parochial. We’ll have none of that, in these politically-correct, race-baiting, revisionist times, will we?
I love Thanksgiving, but probably for all the wrong reasons. I do love it for the right reasons, too, but sometimes my stomach has more say in the matter than my head.
As you may know, we raise our own turkeys and there nothing is (as in N-O-T-H-I-N-G) like free- range, farm-fresh turkeys for dinner. We have enjoyed this pleasure for years. We know where they’re coming from, what’s in them (and what’s not), and, oh right, they tastes really good.
I also like the thanksgiving season—the colours, the timing, the food (probably in that order). There’s nothing like the changing leaves, the nip in the air, and that serene period between summer’s labour and winter’s inconvenience.
Have you ever wondered why we celebrate Thanksgiving in early October and why that huge province to the south of us (America, Maurice, America) celebrates it in late November? I like our timing better: And for those who enjoy their stat holidays, early October is evenly spaced between Labour Day and Remembrance Day, with Christmas holidays tagging along a few weeks later.
I have a pretty good grasp as to why the American Thanksgiving came about, as well as ours. Among other factors, it has a religious basis, which, of course, has been removed from our pluralistic reference books.
Thanksgiving, (the act of versus the holiday), is also a good quality. One who is grateful, thankful, and appreciative (yes, these are synonyms; I use them for emphasis) is a well-adjusted, happy person.
Unfortunately, the inverse is true.
The pursuit of entitlement, individual rights, and fairness, is not wise. That perspective produces the spirit of crankiness. Thus, where privileges are expected then demanded, thanksgiving (and Thanksgiving) just doesn’t happen.
These often have come from two extreme perspectives: One involves the easy way (too few hardships, too much affluence); the other one comes the hard way (broken homes and many other related deprivations). Somehow there is this goofy notion that we deserve the same rights and privileges as everyone else; they we want to start where the previous generation finished off.
A bit of a generalization, to be sure. You’ll notice where I am including my generation in the blame game, too. There seems to be little commitment of working our way up from the bottom—like our parents did.
Somewhere along the way we we have imbibed the fallacy that we have unalienable rights in money matters and housing options, in employment, and possessions. Not so: Maybe we have to start small, with little to our name, and grow from there.
We teach our children to say “please” and “thank you”—and trust that a spirit of gratefulness is caught. Even if the words aren’t spoken, hopefully they develop the right attitude. I am as guilty as the next person for not thanking those who put themselves out for me—wife, kids, all authorities, just starters .
We need to be more grateful for what we have, what we don’t have, and everything in between.
So, let’s make everyday a thanksgiving (and Thanksgiving) day. Mind you, if you’re a turkey (double meaning there, Maurice), that may not go over too well.