The Emptiness of the Thanksgiving Tradition

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Editorial and Opinion  |  House: Booksie Classic

Thanksgiving, like most other holidays that Americans celebrate, has simply just become another day off from work, or for many, the day before Christmas shopping begins, and nothing more.

THE EMPTINESS OF THE THANKSGIVING TRADITION

By Al Garcia

Thanksgiving, like most other holidays that Americans celebrate, has simply just become another day off from work, or for many, the day before Christmas shopping begins, and nothing more.

Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, football games, overeating – the image of Thanksgiving.  Where did we go wrong?  Somewhere along the line of Thanksgivings long gone. We Americans have lost the flavor and essence of the true meaning and intention of what Thanksgiving is all about.

We have lost the vision of the determination, commitment and dedication of those who struggled, suffered and persevered through the most challenging of times, when the Pilgrims gathered in thanksgiving for the riches that they foresaw in this new land called America.  There was passion in the celebration.  There was hope in the observance.  There was reverence in the ritual of appreciation and gratitude. 

Today we rush to the grocery store to purchase frozen turkeys, boxed stuffing and processed fruits.  We wait behind hurried and impatient people in long winding lines at airports, or sit in overheated cars, lined up bumper-to-bumper in asphalt highways, with exasperated drivers and frustrated children yelling in the back seats, just to sit around a table with family and friends and overeat. 

We have lost the spirit and nostalgia of what Thanksgiving was meant to be.  Gone is the sense of gratitude, of appreciation, and of obligation.  We have become numb by the hypocrisy of the times, and by the callousness of our human behavior toward all things worthy of reverence and of veneration, such as faith, nobility, honor and trust in each other.

It seems as if America has reached its zenith in imagination, innovation and inspiration.  We have become impaired by an inability to remember, to think, to consider, and even to give thanks for the simplest or the most profound of things.  We have become accustomed to the way we are, and forgotten the struggles and the sacrifices that brought us to this moment and to this time. It's as if the entire nation is in a state of dementia. 

We will sit at tables laden with an abundance of food, but the table will be empty of gratitude and devoid of humility.  For we have forgotten that in order to reap the bounties of our harvest, we must plant the seeds and nurture the seedlings with love and with care.  We have forgotten how to tend the fields of our endeavors and of our triumphs, and how to keep alive the spirit of a simple dream of simple people, who once yearned to be free, to live free. 

We have lost the vision of what Thanksgiving was meant to be.  We have lost the passion and the hunger to tend the fields and cultivate the harvest of our forefathers.  And now, we reap the rage, the fury and the indignation of our failure to keep alive the dream of Pilgrims, and their thankful community feast of so long ago at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in celebration of the beginning of a new life, in a New World.

The celebration has changed.  Life in the “New World” has changed.  The name “Thanksgiving” may remain, but the sentiment and the emotion is gone, and the foundation of what was once a dream, now crumbling into the untended fields of glory and of hope.  And soon, there may be no bounties to be gathered, and no harvest to celebrate, but rather, just a barren field of forgotten dreams.

This Thanksgiving, say a little prayer for America. 


Submitted: November 25, 2021

© Copyright 2021 A.Garcia. All rights reserved.

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olive tree

yep. just another example of ceremony and nonsense to support ideas of nationalism - the governing agenda. keep the masses in check.

Sat, November 27th, 2021 7:20pm

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Essay / Editorial and Opinion