A very happy Thanksgiving indeed for us today, and we hope for you as well. This year we’re thankful for many a thing – so thankful, in fact, that our year-end list making has begun in earnest, leading up to our 2nd annual Hanukkah Buying Guide and the announcement of this year’s Sprudgie Awards – so today we want to keep it short and sweet and say “Thank you” to our readers, well-wishers, advertisers and tipsters. We quite honestly could not do this without you, and we’re thankful for your ongoing support!
To our regular readers living in Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Colombia and elsewhere around the world, you may be wondering what exactly this “Thanksgiving” is all about. It’s relatively easy to suss out your own historical interpretation, based largely on one’s own personal politics and willingness to write polemic into the American narrative; Thanksgiving is either a willfully ignorant celebration of America’s internal ethnic atrocities, or a heartwarming commemoration of the early good relations between settlers at the Plymouth Colony and the Wampanoag Native Americans. You can read Howard Zinn and Michael Medved, and as is so often the case, truth splits the difference.
Really, it’s a harvest festival, perhaps the most universal and cross-cultural cause for celebration on earth. What it means for us here is stereotypically the following: travel to a central location to be around familial relatives, marathon preparation and copious consumption of “traditional” foods (green bean casserole has only existed for 50 years, whereas people have been roasting turkeys since the invention of fire), television viewing as communal activity (either NFL Football or the Godfather 1&2 on AMC), and enjoyment of various caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. Coffee people typically find themselves exhibiting their culture during these sorts of holidays; it’s not uncommon to fly across the country with an Escala, Chemex, and pounds of amazing beans in an attempt to convert the family palate. Making coffee for your family all day (or all weekend) is it’s own kind of joy, and though they think we’re geeks, they’re also kind of impressed, and inevitably, they will want more, so it’s good you brought that bag of Don Mayo.
The most common iteration on the classic Thanksgiving theme is known as “Friendsgiving”. This occurs when one’s living situation / personal preference takes them far afield from their biological family, and the need to celebrate the harvest trumps the need to put up with your racist Uncle. “Friendsgiving” is then thrown in place of Thanksgiving, and involves a gathering of like-minded friends and current significant others, lots of coffee gadgets, alcohol, a ready availability of fake turkey meat substitutes, and vinyl. “Friendsgiving” is often the preferred celebration of the last Thursday in November, but it can be celebrated on any day leading up to the actual Day of Turkey. Thus, some Americans actually enjoy multiple Thanksgiving-oriented events in and around the actual Thanksgiving Day. This pattern of behavior is advisedly followed by shot-fueled December afternoons at the gym.
There you have it! Enjoy Thanksgiving, know that someone is thankful for you, and get ready to groove on the last month of what has been an incredibly wonderful 2010. In the meantime, make someone you love a nice cup of coffee.