Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year. It´s such a simple, pure, honest holiday--getting together with family and friends to give thanks for whatever we have to be grateful for. And then eating a lot of really excellent food. Can this holiday be any more edifying or beautiful?
But, outside of the US (and Canada, mid-October), who else celebrates this holiday?
Here in Mexico, those in favor of traditional Mexican holidays are justly concerned that Halloween is upstaging the Day of the Dead and Santa Claus is crowding out the Three Kings from their spotlight at Christmas. While I´m American, and do celebrate my holidays American-style, I am sad that all the gore and gifts are overshadowing the real meaning of very significant holidays in this country.
While I realize that there are a plethora of reasons why American holidays are crowding out Mexican holidays in this country (namely by the entertainment and consumer industries), why is it that Thanksgiving hasn´t crossed the border yet?
True, thanks to Lincoln proclaiming Thanksgiving a national holiday, it is more of a civic holiday than a religious one (which unsuprisingly is most likely Reason #1 why Thanksgiving the Holiday will never be widespread here). But it´s such a beautiful holiday that people of any or no religion can get behind and support. We all have something to be thankful for.
If, as a culture, we are exporting our holidays all over the world, shouldn´t this be the one that we most actively export?
And don´t tell me that it´s not marketable. I´ll eat my hat if grocery stores all over the US aren´t doing at least a little more business this week that they did in any given week in August.
Not that I want to impose my culure on another. Not at all. I´m just mystified why Halloween is such a big draw and yet Thanksgiving--this most beautiful of holidays-- is nearly unheard of.
Fortunately, in Saltillo, we´re changing that up a little bit. In the past, at the International Church, the American pastors invited other American families over to their house to celebrate Thanksgiving together. This year (perhaps because the pastors are in the US for a month) , we´re all meeting at the church on Friday night for a big, church-family, Thanksgiving potluck. I´ve heard a hot rumor that turkeys will indeed be served. This year, I´m pretty excited to be sharing this holiday, not only with my American friends, but with Mexcian, Canadian, British, Korean, El Salvadorian, German, and Brazilian friends. They way it was meant to be.
Sure, it won´t be as cozy and intimate as hanging out at the Tripps´ house in our little gringo club. But to share such a nice holiday with so many more people . . . it will be a bit more authentic.