Don’t get me wrong. I am grateful for many things. A new job in a new town. Having a safe space where I can finally live openly as a trans man. That I found a nice apartment in a decent part of town. The ability to live on my own, and having one job with a comfortable income. The friends, online and off, that I have in my life. Having health insurance. Having a car that works. Having a safe workplace that values her employees.
I don’t need a holiday to remember all that. I keep myself surrounded by others who are grateful for what’s in their lives; despite my current ignoticism and apatheism, my church exposure makes I remain humble, too. I think our society as a whole just needs to stop glorifying gluttony, hubris, and materialism; and replace it with moderation, modesty, and magnanimity.
There’s also the important history the holiday refuses to address how the puritans eventually committing genocide, and the long history of how the US continued to steal land from Natives, Spain, France, and others due to the idea of the ”manifest destiny”, and because of Protestantism, dehumanized Catholics and the indigenous, and then using homesteading to claim arable and mine-worthy lands for profit.
It’s not really as an important factor for why I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but it is an important one.
I never cared for the holidays. The stress caused by trying to create ”happy memories” that never turned out, well, happy. The hypocrisy of supposedly being grateful one day, only to have Black Friday occur the day aftwards, where people trample others for “deals”. The hypocrisy supposedly of being ”grateful to God”, but not giving thanks to the farmers and laborers who worked their asses off to provide cheap food for others, and then having huge quantities of food be thrown away, or people getting sick of after ”days of leftovers”. And the fact it’s more an obligation to attend family get-togethers, and being shamed by complete strangers even when you have a valid reason why you’d rather not (e.g. you come from an abusive family, or still new to an area like my case), further adds to the distaste in my mouth.
Yea, I also know about ”Friendsgiving” as an alternative for those of us who can’t or won’t celebrate with family. I also know, from my days as a grocer, about families who have Thanksgiving a week later, because the large turkeys are usually pennies per pound, and thus can more easily afford one and have a more ”traditional” turkey-based dinner.
I don’t care if you celebrate Thanksgiving or not. Just remember the full story of what the Pilgrims eventually did. Make sure during your prayers you thank the farmers who provide for you that gluttony you call a meal. And that when Black Friday hits, to remain grateful and don’t sacrifice yourself to the gods of consumerism.