Staff Editorial – 12/12

Thanksgiving viewed as warm up to Christmas, pilgrims’ plight forgotten


Those poor pilgrims.

We’re all aware that Thanksgiving is a holiday meant to celebrate the pilgrims’ first, hard-earned harvest. But instead of honoring them, we reduce the pilgrims to silver-buckled shoes and wide-brimmed hats: we deny them a spot at the table for the feast they began.

With the Thanksgiving barrier obliterated, department stores perform Black Friday Magic–in a matter of seconds, wreaths and glowing plug-in Santas eliminate traces of weak turkey displays. Lights decorate naked trees; reindeer sweaters are worn; Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” plays 16 times
an hour.

In the midst of this holiday craze–and by “holiday” we mean December’s holidays, not the overlooked, three-days-shy-of-December Thanksgiving–we forget the pilgrims’ plight that brought us that first glimmer of hope and supplied the feast we now take for granted. Though some pilgrims befriended Native Americans and others beheaded them, we owe pilgrims at least one day of celebration.

And yet, four centuries later, on every fourth Thursday in November we take pride in decapitating a turkey, squishing potatoes and pummeling cranberries; gaping at a bloated Mickey Mouse crossing in front of the Macy’s at Herald Square; arguing with the television screen during Thanksgiving Day football.

Then the big game ends and so does Thanksgiving–our mashed-potato-smeared dishes and mutilated wish bones are left in the sink to rot while we forget the pilgrims, disregard their bravery and race our mini-vans to the nearest Target.

We’re too busy worrying about how to get rid of our leftovers and missing out on Black Thursday deals to give our founders a shred of thanks. On Thanksgiving.

Those poor pilgrims.