Holidays, Life Lessons

Things everyone should do for Thanksgiving once in their lives

Thanksgiving is once again upon us.  If you live in the USA you celebrate on the 4th Thursday unlike our more sensible neighbors to the NorthIn the US, the holiday is meant to commemorate an event that took place when English colonists held a feast to thank Native Americans for helping them start new lives in the US, before we took everything worth taking from them. 

Why doesn't Goldilocks come home for Thanksgiving anymore?

Why doesn’t Goldilocks come home for Thanksgiving anymore?

In no particular order, here are some things everyone should do once in their lives on Thanksgiving.  Not necessarily the same thanksgiving, although it is possible to do all of these on the same one.

Host or attend Friendsgiving:  When Thanksgiving was discovered? Invented?  I’m not up on my history, most people lived near or with their immediate family so getting together for the holidays was a no-brainer.  These days, it’s not always easy to fly back to NoWhere, Iowa or Hellville, Alabama, especially if you have to do it again in 3-4 weeks for Christmas.  [Some day I”ll write the post about moving Thanksgiving to the first week of November, and he let’s make it the start of Election Weekend.]

Some people also can’t or won’t spend time with their family.  They are estranged, black sheep of the family or it’s just to uncomfortable.

Participate in a Turkey Trot:  Every city, town and subdivision has a Turkey Trot (5K/8K/10K) either the weekend before or the day of Thanksgiving.  If you are able, you should actually run this usually noncompetitive race.  If running really isn’t your thing, they can always use volunteers.

Eat a Non-Traditional Meal:  Back in college, I had a Chinese friend who always joked about being at the Red Lobster with the other FOBs for Thanksgiving.  She was not PC and extolled a healthy amount of self-deprecation.  Skip the turkey and have something non-traditional like Lasagna, Prime Rib or Chinese food.

Give Money and time, but especially Money to Charity:  volunteer at a soup kitchen or community shelter.  They can use your non perishable food donation but they really need money, because strangely, dollars never go bad.

Reflection and Renewal:  Everyone usually waits until the end of the year to look back on what transpired and look ahead at the year to come (New Year’s Resolutions anyone).  I say why wait.  Everything starts slowing if not outright shutting down this time of year.  Most likely your football team is out of the playoffs.  This is a great time to reflect on what was and what can still be.

Thanksgiving 1996 was when I unceremoniously mailed my grad school application to DePaul University.  A few weeks later my check cleared I was conditionally accepted and the rest is history.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Curb Your Enthusiasm star Larry David sparked some controversy when he joked about trying to get a date at a concentration camp while hosting SNL last Saturday.  The joke starts about 5:40 into the video clip but there is a reference to the recent fusillade of sexual assault allegations in the new at 3:40.

Whenever  controversy du jour like this occurs, I tend to see what my favorite pundits have to say about it.  It seems there are two camps.  The “It’s always too soon” to joke about The Holocaust Camp and the Remember to Add ‘to you’ When you say Something is Offensive Camp.

The Always Too Soon Camp feels that  the victims and the goings on in the camps should be treated with reverence. Making them part of stand up routines is not treating them with dignity.

The Not Offended Camp think that finding humor is empowering and a way to take back power. That he wasn’t being disrespectful to the people who suffered in the Holocaust. He was finding humor in the situation, not in the suffering, the pain, or the trauma. If he was making fun of anyone, it was himself.

I don’t think his joke was funny, but I don’t share the outrage everyone else is feeling.  I’m not Jewish (as far as I know) but my grandparents did spend time in a work camp in Germany, long enough for my mother and an aunt to be born there.

Honestly, I don’t know enough on this and addressing this topic right now feels like it would be sticking my head into a hive of angry hornets and why would I want to do that? Instead, my only question is, can he walk this back?

Back in the day, when a comedian told an off-putting joke, people responded by not laughing and the joke was quickly and unceremoniously removed from the routine.  In the Social Media Era of the Internet Age, the offending joke gains a life of its own and goes viral.

Can Larry David walk this back? If so, what is the path to do so?

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