Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wishing You and Yours a Bountiful Harvest...

Thanksgiving, as a North American tradition, is a festival historically held to celebrate the bringing in of the year's harvest.  Folks would gather friends, family and communities together to party down with their new-found riches.  They got to see their hard work rewarded and reaped with the bringing in of the season's crops.  Before our current economic system and before Black Friday, it was simply enough to memorialize and gather to enjoy the fact that people didn't have to worry about food for the Winter.
(represents a bountiful harvest)

Other than Canada, the United States is practically the only country which celebrates this historic holiday.   Unfortunately, our Lady Mistress Capitalism has distorted our celebration of the harvest.  She got into bed with Democracy about eighty years ago and it didn't take her long to kick Lady Liberty right into the floor so she could give us her solo act.  Like a timeless, enduring peepshow, we plug our money in the bottomless slot to keep the curtain up and the wheels turning.  We've switched gears as far as our perception of Thanksgiving over the past hundred years.  With grocery chain titans turning out food to our communities, there's less room for a feeling of reward and work paying off.  Sure we work for our money and the money brings home the bacon.  However, whether you buy the Kroger turkey or the Save-A-Lot turkey (based on your tax bracket,) you didn't have to catch the bird and lop it's head off in the back yard.  No gutting, feather plucking, picking and storing of crops, or any of the work which went behind the long awaited annual feast.  Don't get me wrong, the feast is still there and I'm by no means belittling the hours of kitchen time folks put in to feed their families.  I'm simply saying there is no harvest to memorialize.  Ironically, Mexico does not celebrate Turkey Day though their people are predominantly the ones doing the harvesting for us.

Yellow Corn Maiden
(represents a bountiful corn harvest)

 Every year, we do stop to smell the roses so to speak on Thanksgiving  (and make corporations a large chunk of their annual profits in one busy week.)  Today we "give thanks" to honor our national holiday.  It's important that we do hang onto this facet of our cultural event.  Don't confuse material thanks with the heart-felt kind though.  All this "giving thanks" starts one day and twelve hours later every-town America is absolutely insane and literally killing one another over mass-produced material goods that are on sale.  Experience true thankfulness today but I challenge you also to do so tomorrow as well. When you're standing outside the store waiting for the doors to open so you can make the mad dash to the deal of the century, remember they want you hysterical.  They want you running people down and fighting with each other.  They want a couple of people to get trampled to death- you won't hear about it until tomorrow and by next year, you'll have forgot.  They want it to be dangerous so you'll get the thrill and get the rush.  They knew how hard it was for you to stop just 24 hours before and forget about the rat race.  They know you want to run that last slice of pecan pie off.  They want you back because you didn't spend enough of their money in their stores while you were busy eating and thanking.

Pause again tomorrow and remember what's really important- life and love (and everyone's is richer than money and richer than the harvest itself.)  Pause again tomorrow and the next day and the next day.

The best to your and yours these holidays,


  1. Becca HardinNovember 26, 2010

    I absolutely love this blog Brandt! You are so correct on how the holiday has changed, and how people forget the true meaning. I take your challenge to be thankful today (I am NOT out in the mad crowds fighting and bustling) and the next day and the next day and the next day ;) I LOVE you!

  2. had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. We talked about how two of us had survived cancer and one now battling it, healthy kids, enough to eat in a worm house with a roof that doesn't leak. When all were leaving we vowed not to ruin the meomory of it by heading to the stores for Black Friday.

  3. Thankful Anonymous, thank you for sharing... we should all be so grateful.

  4. Thanksgiving is far from being a North American festival. Almost every known society has had some type of celebration during "harvest" time. Harvest is a translation from Old English that means autumn.

  5. I simply meant it was celebrated in the fashion which we know it only on our continent. Other cultures have much different modes of community gatherings based around their harvest.

  6. Big bussiness' fault? What about personal responsability? Just sayin.

  7. My article wasn't attempting to deny any personal accountability for one's actions, but rather to prevent the need of such by not letting Big Business drive folks into such a frenzy.

  8. Your whole blog was right on & very well written!

  9. You do realize that harvest festivals are celebrations of greed and gluttony, right? The whole giving thanks thing comes from Americans patting themselves on the back for making friendly with some natives before starting the genocide. Black Friday is a better method of celebrating the harvest than is Thanksgiving.

    Of course, you're just one of those people who just want to blame Big Business/commercialization/video games/rock music/foreigners/Catholics for ruining society. Yes, I'm lumping you in with the bigots. You're just as self-important, smug, judgmental, and deluded as they are. Congrats on not being as violent, though. That's a plus.

  10. I think it's an unfortunate part of human nature...


If you brought two cents, leave them here...

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.