There is no such thing as an old fashioned Thanksgiving.
It's a marketing tool now. So many people don't care. They go shopping instead.
Now 'if' you are expected to show up at a family gathering - like the old fashioned Thanksgivings in the 1940's movies, you can do that. You can be on your best behavior - or not. You can have a Stepford Thanksgiving, or depending on income - a Flo's Thanksgiving. Actually, you can do whatever you want.
So what is my point?
There is no ideal Thanksgiving. Forced get-togethers with no talking about real life is probably the norm for many families. Pretending to get along. Eating too much. Watching football, going shopping, or going to the casino is what many can hardly wait to do after dinner is over. Complaining about Uncle Poodle or Mom getting too drunk to serve, or the kid's tattoos and piercings - under your breath, before arriving or after you leave is also pretty common. You know what I mean?
Even those good big 'C' Catholics grit their teeth when the dreaded 'c'atholic liberals show up.
Anyway - Here's what inspired my post - comments from Stir Up Sunday pretty much reminded me of the dread experienced by the 'best' of them ...
Comment: 4th annual fruitcake baking party at our house and hopefully zero political conversation as most of our visitors are “c”atholics. I figure we can kill them with kindness.
Response: Yes, be so sweet they will feel like they just ate maple syrup.
And that's fine. That's 'nice' too.
Remember when Catholic bloggers used to blog about how being nice was bad - you know - it was because it paralleled the 'church of nice' and secular, liberal, tolerance ideals ... you know who and what I'm talking about.
Just remember, some of your guests will be there because they are just being 'nice' and trying to be 'tolerant' of you. Maybe you should talk about that.
I would encourage guests to be honest with one another while they sit down together for whatever kind of Thanksgiving dinner they choose to participate in. Don't sentimentalize it - just be who you are and live and let live.
And give thanks.
Bonus: Did you know?
The Pilgrims and the Native Americans were not particularly identified with Thanksgiving until about 1900, though interest in the Pilgrims as historic figures began shortly before the American Revolution. - Source
Oh! Oh! The Pilgrims were Calvinists - so I suppose the self-righteous attitudes so characteristic of contemporary big "C" religious people is a carry over from the original Thanksgiving, and in keeping with tradition. Enjoy!
Song for this post here.