Happy Thanksgiving Day, US and all

Even from 3,000 miles away it hasn’t escaped our notice that today is Thanksgiving Day. I watch a lot of American TV shows, many of which – like NCIS – have Thanksgiving specials, and until the past few years I’d always thought of Thanksgiving Day as being something celebrated only in the USA. I was a little surprised, therefore, to find both that is celebrated in several countries and that its roots actually go back to post-Reformation England, no doubt prompted by the Pilgrim Fathers’ journey across the pond on the Mayflower. This is in no way to deny the day its American roots, though – it seems that celebrations have taken place in some places there since the late 16th century. I’ll admit to having to consult Google and Wikipedia for that!

Basically, the day is to give thanks for a good harvest, before the onset of winter. In the UK this is very much a church thing, with Harvest Festival services in late September, but these have not developed into a fully blown day of celebration – we in the UK are really deprived when it comes to public holidays! It was first set in statute in the USA by Abraham Lincoln in 1863, and has been celebrated on the 4th Thursday in November since President Roosevelt signed a joint resolution of Congress to that effect, in 1941. It is a major holiday in the US, not just the commercial aspects but as a day of family celebration.

Turkey is the traditional meal for Thanksgiving Day, as you can see from the table set here. There are parades, NFL games and a host of other celebrations too, and the day marks the start of a long weekend break, as well as being the unofficial start of the Christmas season. Earlier in the week, there was the weird (to non-Americans) spectacle of the Presidential pardon for turkeys. I’ve never understood what turkeys can have done that would be so bad as to require that level of pardon, so maybe an American reader can enlighten me please? I just hope that this year’s recipients of the pardon don’t subsequently turn out to have links to Russia.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

I read in the paper the other day that one of those surveys had concluded that one in six would be celebrating the day here in the UK. Does that mean there are 10m Americans living here or are we Brits succumbing to yet another US import? Sorry, guys, I’m afraid it isn’t a tradition that I’ll be adopting, but I hope you all enjoy your big day.

12 thoughts on “Happy Thanksgiving Day, US and all

  1. Reblogged this on Take It Easy and commented:

    For Thanksgiving Day I’m sharing again the post I wrote for this occasion last year. To everyone celebrating today, I hope you have a wonderful time.

    Here’s little special something to share the message of today:

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING DAY!!

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  2. Thatcher with Reagan didn’t help much, either. We have a long history of believing we’re somehow equal partners in a ‘special relationship’ while they see that as laughable. US foreign policy has consistently antagonised other countries, whilst they see themselves as the saviours of the world. That seems to be unravelling a bit xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • “They” does not really represent a great many of us here in the USA, Clive (rather like *not* EVERY Brit wanted to pull out of the EU). Unfortunately, American politicians do not represent many of us any better than yours represent many of you (OVER 50% of us did *not* vote for the idiot in charge, you know – he LOST the popular vote).

      The idiots have the biggest mouths (and busiest tweeting fingers) however.

      Educated Americans do NOT see you or your country as laughable – and most of those (myself included) are great admirers of how your brave countrymen and women rallied to save us ALL from the scourge of Hitler during a time when separatism was an American meme (a scale which seems to have tipped the other way these days, yes?).

      We are also well aware of the debt owed to the French Resistance movement, Osyth, and not ALL of us are anti-Russian. We must all step carefully these days – we need each other.

      As for the “Turkey pardon” — I’m not sure how or why it began, but you did know that the American President can pardon a prisoner on Death Row, right? Guilty or innocent, conviction is followed by sentencing, and America is still barbaric about the death penalty – but the President can over-rule the courts with a pardon (centerpiece of more than a few American prison-movies, “praying for that phone call on the way to execution.”)

      Since “innocent Turkeys” have been sentenced to die every Thanksgiving as the centerpiece of the majority of family meals, the President “pardons” one each T-giving – some sort of symbol that most of us don’t take very seriously. Let’s not get into a huge discussion about silly conventions in either of our countries in favor of wishing each other well and being grateful for our camaraderie – we have much in common on which we can focus.

      Thanks for featuring Thanksgiving today, Clive!!
      xx,
      mgh
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
      ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
      “It takes a village to transform a world!

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      • I’m very glad to hear that, Madelyn – it’s the impression our media chooses to give us so more fool me for believing them! I know he lost the popular vote by around 3m, and it still rankles with him as it weakens his case to call his Electoral College win a ‘landslide.’ You’re right about our politicians too – the referendum vote was 52/48 on a 72% turnout, which means that only around 36% actually voted to leave the EU – a fact which has been conveniently swept under the carpet, in much the same way as Trump’s actual vote share. But you wouldn’t know that from the rabid fanaticism of our government, which doesn’t, I think, reflect the view of the country as a whole. I would wish for a new election, but the main opposition party isn’t likely to change the approach that much – they might soften it, but we’ll still be heading for the cliff.

        Thanks for the explanation on Turkey pardons – it does seem a little odd, but as you say lots of customs look strange when viewed from another country’s perspective (Heaven knows what you think of Morris dancing!). Yes, I knew that about Presidential pardons – there has been discussion about it in relation to the Mueller investigation, and his reported ‘Can I pardon myself?’ question, if that is to be believed.

        I’ve featured Thanksgiving for several years now – today’s post is a reworking of last year’s, in fact. As nearly 50% of my page views are from the US it seems only fair, and my little way of saying ‘thank you.’ I hope you’re having a wonderful day xx

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      • Nothing “fool” ish about YOU, Clive! I wonder sometimes if the world press has ANY idea how divisive their reportage tends to be, or if they are all secret agents of a warlike nation hell-bent on WWIII. I’m wondering if the meme needs to be updated to, “You can believe ANYthing you read!”

        This is one of the few years where I am having dinner with “civilized” hosts (lol – dinner vs. a mid-day feast) – so I have a bit of time to see what folks around the blog-o-sphere are up to before I must dash out the door, which is how I saw your T-giving post this year.

        Oddly, most of MY page views are from Canadians and Brits – if the WdPrss stats are to be trusted. In any case, I must now get out of my jammies, walk my pup, and ready myself for dinner across town. Happy Thanksgiving, Clive.
        xx,
        mgh

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think they do it deliberately – they sell more papers that way!

        I’ve always trusted the WordPress stats more than I do most newspapers. It’s interesting to see where my readers are – over the 5 or so years I’ve been doing this I’ve had views from way over 100 countries, though the US is about 40+% and the UK another 30+% of that. I’m intrigued by it, and wonder what drives people to my pages in the first place!

        Your celebrations sound very civilised. I hope you enjoy them and have a great day and a lovely holiday weekend xx

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  3. Very well said – the last remark about my countrymen seizing on American customs and adopting them. Big fat No-No in my humblest. We have a culture to be proud of and should be looking at ways to develop those not trying to reinvent ourselves the 53rd State 😉 But it is a lovely celebration and giving thanks for what we have should never be shunned. I will be raising a glass to my husband and stepson this evening as they tuck into their turkey (I having been phoned several times already for instructions) and giving thanks for all the good things I have in my life. That sort of a pause is a good thing. But leave the meal and the turkey pardoning to the experts over the pond say I. 🦃 xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sadly, we’ve been doing that since WW2, and it won’t go away. I fear that, post-Brexit, we will become subservient to – and dependent on – the US even more than we are now. And we’re the ones with the history!

      Enjoy your pause, and I hope your family enjoy their Thanksgiving dinner. It’s very considerate of them to involve you in it 😂 xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • They are all heart ❤️ 😉…. Tony Blair and his ‘special relationship’ cemented things finely whilst wandering around with his head up Bush 😠 The irony is that it was bluddy Wilson in 1918 with his arrogance in Paris that honestly laid the foundations for WW2 by ostracizing Germany and making her suffer and pay therefore creating a fertile field of discontent for Hitler to spout his vile bile and fools to follow. And then we all thanked the US who remained resolutely on the sidelines of the War for a long long time and when they eventually conceded and entered the fray took all the glory. The truth is that Russia was just as crucial in winning the war but we aren’t allowed to say that. And we don’t speak German but slowly slowly we have conceded our identity and I can see a day when we are genuinely just another State in the Union. Or is that Onion 😉 xx

        Liked by 1 person

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