I'm not a big fan of holidays for various reasons (massive consumerism, useless unexamined traditions, etc.) but mainly because they're rarely single people-friendly and almost always encourage unrealistic expectations. I also find it strange that holidays evoke behavior in people that doesn't exist any other time of the year, not to mention for a day whose origins and meanings people don't even get. Take a day like today, Thanksgiving, for example. How many of us really know the true origins of this day other than what we were taught in elementary school? Like most other holidays, it's been revised and reconceptualized to suit individual needs. Ask most people about Thanksgiving and they'll probably say it's a day to give thanks. Well, here are some questions:
- Why not give thanks everyday?
- Why must a whole turkey be cooked and eaten but rarely any other time of the year?
- Do we have to visit family members (who may just royally annoy us) during a rare 4-day weekend and fight traffic and crowds? There are 365 other days of the year to do this.
- Why is it that everyone becomes generous on this day, even those who are the most selfish any other time?
- Why are we feeding the homeless on one day of the year? Does anyone care what they're eating the day after Thanksgiving?
- And why have I gotten over 10 text messages wishing me a "Happy Thanksgiving" from numbers I don't even recognize and/or from people I haven't even heard from in a year?