Thanksgiving Traditions That Need To Be Rethought
With Thanksgiving in a couple of days, we’ve been thinking about all of the things we’ll be missing while on the road during this particular holiday. Mostly our family and friends, but also much of the Thanksgiving atmosphere itself. It’s a day that Americans can take a step back from their lives, and truly be thankful for not only what they have, but also to be living in this country.
Despite some great and lasting Thanksgiving traditions, we feel that some of them miss the mark, or sometimes don’t even make sense at all. Here’s our list of Thanksgiving traditions that need to be rethought:
SACRILEGE! We know, but did you know that there’s no evidence that turkey was actually part of the first Thanksgiving meal, and that historians are pretty sure that it would not have been? Venison and some other poultry were probably served, but no one is absolutely certain (NPR). Now, we’re fine with eating turkey and all, but just don’t have those pictures with pilgrims and Indians crowded around the turkey in little kids’ history books.
Maybe a worse transgressor than the turkey, because no one actually likes it. By now you know that they probably didn’t have any cranberry sauce during the original Thanksgiving, as sweet fruit dishes weren’t readily available at the time. Somehow, it became a staple of Thanksgiving dinner after that. What exactly does the cranberry sauce go with? It’s just completely out of place with that meal. And don’t even get us started on the cranberry sauce out of the can. What’s more appetizing than a jiggly loaf of artificially colored cranberry sauce, shaped like the can it was just packed in, and then cut into rounds? Please stop buying this stuff so they can stop producing it.
All day in the kitchen for 15 minutes of eating
The average time of cooking on Thanksgiving is between 5 and 7 hours. And since we’re all fatties and smell the food cooking all day long, we usually scarf it down in about 15 minutes. Thanksgiving is supposed to be about spending time with loved ones, when in fact, most families are only together at the table for a very short period of time. We know that it’s the large quantity of food that takes so long to cook, but maybe everyone can contribute so it doesn’t take as long? Or maybe just order your entire meal from Whole Foods? Or do something that keeps people at the table for longer? Anything that changes the cooking-to-eating ratio is what we’re asking for.
Only two days off from work
Evidence suggests that the first Thanksgiving was not one evening, but 3 days long! (NPR) Nowadays you only get two days off in celebration, if you’re lucky. All of the excitement about shoving as much food in your trap as possible for two full days, renders everyone useless Monday-Wednesday before Thanksgiving. You really should be getting the whole week off. And why does Christmas hog all of the multiple-dates vacation time? For most of you, it’s already cold as balls, getting dark by 5 PM, and generally depressing your work mojo. So why not just add on a few days, and recharge those batteries with copious amounts of food and relaxing. Since you’re probably reading this at work just before Thanksgiving and clearly procrastinating, you can continue your stretch of dilly-dallying and express your irritation with this injustice by writing to your Congress person: https://writerep.house.gov/
Awkward “I’m thankful for” moments
It’s so nice that everyone is thankful on Thanksgiving, but how about a moment of quiet reflection rather than the Spanish Inquisition method of going person by person around the table. We don’t need to know that your brother is thankful for this side of the family because the other side of the family hates him, or that your sister-in-law is thankful for her costume wearing cat. Besides, shouldn’t you be thankful daily?
Wednesday bar night driving
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is now widely known as the #1 bar night of the year in America, because old friends are back in town and it’s time to get weird. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is now the #1 DUI night in America because cops know that people are hitting the bars. So cab it, or maybe organize a house party where everyone can crash, because you’re not in high school anymore and can drink with friends at your parents’ house.
Dressing kids up like “Pilgrims and Indians”
Not to get too politically correct, but we are all aware that Native American tribes and the clothes they wear are incredibly diverse, right? Not all tribes paint their faces, don feathers, or wear moccasins. But at least Native Americans were actually a part of the first Thanksgiving. Pilgrims on the other hand, may have actually been the second group of people to break bread with the locals.
You know, trace your hand, cut it out, draw a beak on it and maybe throw some colorful feathers on it. Do you ever look at your hand and think, “Man, that looks like a turkey”? The answer is no of course, because it looks like a hand. Why can’t we just let kids draw whatever they think a real turkey looks like? And furthermore, why are we obsessively drawing pictures of what we’re going to eat?
Despite these curious traditions, we hope that you all have a very happy Thanksgiving…without hand turkeys, cranberry sauce and drunk driving.