Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The true meaning of Thanksgiving

So tonight I will spend all night putting up all the Christmas displays for Borders, and soon we'll start playing Christmas Carols and I'll drink egg nog and gain unwanted pounds. And I sort of got to thinking... what happened to Thanksgiving. I'm not really in the mood for Halloween, but that's okay, since I'll be up all night, haunting my bookstore.

Thanksgiving however, is another story. One of the books that has routinely not sold has been Thanksgiving books. No one cares... and if you think about it, Thanksgiving is just another excuse to eat a lot, stay home from work, and watch football. For kids, Thanksgiving is a time to stay home from school, maybe watch the Macy's parade which is mainly about Santa Clause and the balloons, and to start making lists for their parents to go out the next day and buy gifts.

Which is not to say that presents aren't already being bought. Why start the Christmas season at the end of November when you can string it out, balance Credit Card spending, and start Christmas shopping in Early October? HSN already has all their Christmas trees up, and K-Mart and Hallmark have had Christmas stuff up for months now.

My main beef is that students today know nothing about what Thanksgiving is about. I bet you if you go to any Third Grade classroom and ask what Thanksgiving is about, they will give you all of the above. They don't realize that it is partially a Patriotic holiday, and that part of it is a time for religious reflection made by past presidents.

What teachers need to do is to go to your local bookstore (Borders, hopefully) and get the books that will help students realize what Thanksgiving really is. Mario Thomas wrote a wonderful one, Thanks and Giving All year Long, as well as other books that give the real meaning of Thanksgiving, not just Turkey and food and shopping. I don't usually care that much about holidays, mainly because my mom always has headaches and I have to take care of her, but this time, I think Thanksgiving has been pushed aside because of the commercialization of Christmas, and it's not fair for it to be so easily dismissed.

Now I need to retire to bed so I can get up and stay up all night. (Yawn).

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