Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I wanted to share some things with everyone on this Thanksgiving eve. You may see, amid the various TV specials and "myths about Thanksgiving" articles on the web, some people who delight in skewering our national holiday. Sure- our modern day conception of the origins of Thanksgiving is a mish mash of actual history, folklore and tradition, but that doesn't mean it's bad. In fact, Thanksgiving is perhaps our one and only original cultural holiday- one that celebrates being grateful for what we have, putting aside differences and family. And more than anything else, no matter the zig zag road it took to get here, it is about family and memory. All of the many things involved with Thanksgiving- aromas, food, communal gathering- are psychological triggers of memory. Memories of childhood, of times gone by, of loved ones now gone- it is a form of communal ritual which celebrates our connections to each other and the past.

I have lamented in the past how we often seem so in a rush to get to Christmas, that we often overlook or zoom past Thanksgiving. I still believe that is the case in some ways- especially in the commerce sector. However I received a recent email from a friend- a Shelf Foreign Correspondent (did I mention he lives in Northern California?) that offers another point of view that still ties into what Thanksgiving is all about. I wanted to share that with all of you as part of our annual Thanksgiving message:

"I wanted to respond to your Thanksgiving post (as I sit here listening to my favorite Christmas album). I completely agree with folks who decry the over-commercialization of the holidays in general, and I therefore understand the frustration with the rush to the big money-making holidays. But for me, Thanksgiving and Christmas are inseparably intertwined.

My fondest Thanksgiving and Christmas memories are both based on the same thing: a warm heart, and a loving family. While the presents at Christmas were great as a kid, the things I remember most fondly were the dinners, both Thanksgiving and Christmas. The whole big family (10 of us, before I left home), and often a large parcel of single friends, other families, and neighbors would sit down together for massive meals. And while the food was good, it was more the experience of it that warms my heart. We would sit and eat slowly, dining as much on conversation as on the food prepared. It happened in rounds; we would chat while the first bit settled, and then go back for more. When we got to full, we took a break for a few hours, and then began the pie course. I remember just sitting and loving the sound of the family talking, the stories told, and the feeling of people enjoying one another's company. It was different from regular dinners. The fancy china was broken out. It was special. And the warmth of the gathered family, occurring on both of these days, both based in gratitude towards the gifts of God, and most supremely the gift of His Son.

We have to fight the urge to break out Christmas music before Halloween every year in our house. This year, I was the most disciplined in this regard. I know that we are perhaps on the extreme end of things. But the love of family and gratitude toward God are unifying holiday themes for me, and I like to think of Thanksgiving and Christmas as the two anchors of the time of year where these things are perhaps closest in our hearts and minds. I don't think Thanksgiving is a merely a prelude to Christmas. I just think that Thanksgiving and Christmas are co-captains of the best season of the year

Thanks Matt for the message. And to all of you- no matter where you may be, with family or unable to be with them, no matter whether religious or not- remember that Thanksgiving is primarily about families, memories and making new ones. To all of you- have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Oh, I know it's a penny here and a penny there, but look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.

But Thanksgiving is more than eating, Chuck. You heard what Linus was saying out there. Those early Pilgrims were thankful for what had happened to them, and we should be thankful, too. We should just be thankful for being together. I think that's what they mean by 'Thanksgiving,' Charlie Brown.


Anonymous said...

Woohoo! I'm in the bigs now!
Happy Thanksgiving, JC, to you, each of the MCs, the better half, and and the whole of the extended Loophole family.


J.C. Loophole said...

Thanks Matt! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your crew! Thanks for filing your report from "in the field"- stay safe out there Mr."Foreign Correspondant"!

Christian Lindke said...

Happy belated Thanksgiving!

J.C. Loophole said...

I hope it was a Happy Thanksgiving for you and your family Christian- good to hear from you- I hope you guys are all doing well.


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