Do you savor Thanksgiving? Are you fed up at the fowl treatment it receives as a second-class holiday, increasingly shoved to the back burner like so many unloved side dishes? Do you find it hard to swallow that this special event is now merely served up as an appetizer in the buffet line on the way to the retail smorgasbord of Christmas?
Then here's what you can do: Book passage on the gravy boat to Thanksgiving rights! Stand in solidarity and, well, perhaps gravy, and join THAANKS, Thanksgiving Holiday Advocates for Appreciation: No Kidding, Seriously.
THAANKS is primarily a human-based organization, committed to ending all the gobbledygook about stores putting out Christmas products on the Fourth of July and everybody totally ignoring Thanksgiving amid the seasonal scramble from Halloween to New Year's Eve.
(Other potential group names submitted for consideration were: STOP, Save Thanksgiving Or Perish; GLU, Giblet Lovers Unite; and THIGHS, Thanksgiving Harvests Infinite Gratitude, Hopefulness and Serenity. But THAANKS won out because, well, I wanted to use this next bit.)
FYI: THAANKS is not affiliated with T.H.A.N.K.S., Tailgaters Helping Aid Needy Kids' Spirits, an actual nonprofit group based in Monroe, Mich. No kidding, seriously. Look it up. Many people are thankful for them, and they just had a fundraising dinner-dance (presumably tailgating was involved) at the F.O.P. Hall in Monroe.
More FYI: FOP is the Fraternal Order of Police, which is not affiliated with Feisty Old Porcupines, which I hear was recently banned at hot air balloon rallies.
No justice, no peas
Join THAANKS as we invade all the evergreen-bough/candy-cane-clad shopping malls, chanting in Protest 101 fashion in which I shout a question through a bullhorn and then you respond, thusly:
Me: What do we want?
Me: When do we want it?
You: The fourth Thursday in November!
Granted, many people do love Thanksgiving Day, but it seems as though the affection is mostly about the food, the football, the Macy's parade or the sales at the mall that this year will begin before the last piece of pumpkin pie has been swiped from the dinner table by Buddy the Wily Beagle.
Such fun traditions are all things to be grateful for in their own right, to be sure. But here at THAANKS, we promote the true purpose of Thanksgiving. After all, it's one of the few holidays that comes with clear instructions for the day right there in its very name: giving thanks.
It is a time to put down the fork and step away from the tangible table, honoring all the truly substantial things on life's plate -- either expressing sincere gratitude to a higher power or thanking our fellow humans for keeping the cranberry sauce confined to its own little serving bowl rather than allowing it to come in contact with the purity of the stuffing, thereby triggering a vehement response from GROSS, Grumpy Revelers Opposed to Sullied Stuffing.
Pass the patience
As far as retail goes, THAANKS has officially endorsed Nordstrom because of the its standing policy to wait until after Thanksgiving to put up Christmas decorations, bucking what consumer groups call the "Christmas creep," when robotic Santas and LED snowflakes appear on store shelves earlier and earlier each year.
Now don't get your tinsel in a bunch. Nordy's still loves Christmas. It just likes to celebrate "one holiday at a time," according to signs posted in the store. We here at THAANKS totally love Christmas, too. But we don't need to see Martha Stewart/Macy's magical Christmas commercials while rotting, goo-spewing reanimated corpses still roam the earth on Halloween. We don't need to see Santa and some reindeer nibbling on the "living" roof of the California Academy of Sciences (the reindeer were nibbling, not the Santa) before we nibble on some giblets.
And we definitely don't need to see this any time, ever, anywhere: an abominable amalgamation of holidays -- a confusing mutant mascot passing out coupons outside the St. Francis Hotel in Union Square last week, bearing the head of a pumpkin plus the legs and tail feathers of a turkey, dressed in a red Santa coat (no pants). What the Hellmann's mayonnaise kind of holiday is that supposed to represent? Hallothanksmas?
THAANKS supports ignoring that holiday. Trust me, we'll all be filled with gratitude if we do.