Tag Archives: Thanksgiving
Dorothy Parker said gratitude is the meanest and most snivelling attribute in the world, and she makes a good point. In fact, that’s probably the simplest explanation for why I’ve never married: there’s little less appealing than a person who can’t stop telling everyone how thankful he is to have me in his life. Restating the obvious does get tiresome rather quickly.
That said, I think more obnoxious are the people who can’t find a single thing in the world to be grateful for. Right now in America, I don’t doubt there are millions who, having wept over their TV turkey dinners, are watching King Kong and wondering why they are alone and miserable on Thanksgiving Day. The smiling faces of families at the Macy’s Parade, the constant commercials for Black Friday sales they cannot afford to take advantage of and the piles of empties lined up on the kitchen counter only serve as evidence that there is nothing for which they can give thanks. You know who you are (my guess is if you’re online reading this instead of spending time with loved ones, you are probably one of the saddos of which I speak). Pull yourself together and try a bit harder.
Everyone can find something to be grateful for this holiday, if you really put your mind to it. Out of the goodness of my heart, let me offer some suggestions to get the ball rolling:
- Be grateful that fluffy little puppies exist
- Be grateful that modern dentistry uses anesthesia
- Be grateful that your hair is still full of bounce (disregard if you are bald)
- Be grateful that shards of glass aren’t a dietary staple
- Be grateful that you do not have to have a boil on your eyeball lanced
- Be grateful that Dina and Michael Lohan are not your parents (disregard if they are)
- Be grateful that your suicide attempt did not leave you alive but essentially a vegetable
See? With a little effort and imagination, you will be able to find something that makes you can appreciate. If all fails, be thankful I took the time out of my busy schedule to write this thoughtful message. I don’t do this for my health, you know.
Although one should be charitable all year, we are of course entering the season of giving. I do confess to missing my American holidays in the autumn. Both Halloween and Thanksgiving perpetuate the pleasures of graciousness and generosity that have made America famous all over the world. Somehow the English holiday of Bonfire Night, where effigies of baddies are burnt in public fires, seems just too barbaric compared to the simple pleasure of opening one’s door to appreciative children all dressed up, thoughtfully raising their hands to request a single sweet on All Hallows Eve.
Thanksgiving is the most American of American holidays. For those unfamiliar with it, its name is derived from the English words “thanks” and “giving.” It’s a time when Americans pause and reflect on all that they have received over the year (excluding, of course, court subpoenas and STDs). Oh, how I used to love to sit at a fine table, covered with the fruits of my hard labour. It was a time to stop and be thankful for my incredible talent which allowed me to provide such sustenance to myself and those lucky enough to spend the holiday with me. The scrumptious meal was always a sight to behold. The fat turkey carcass so packed with chestnut stuffing that it fell in clumps from between its legs; the preternaturally magenta display of congealed cranberries; the sweet potatoes bathing in an almost solidified river of syrup, holding tightly to marshmallow flotation devices; and the lard dumplings so filling that my great grandfather used the very same recipe as mortar to bond the bricks of his bomb shelter. Beautiful food for a beautiful nation. Thanksgiving reminds us to look outside of ourselves and appreciate all the people who have helped us to reap such a harvest.
However, those people are not acknowledged just on one Thursday of November because Thanksgiving is also the official opening of the Christmas season, when we give them gifts to show our thanks. Of course, I don’t mean that we literally buy presents for those who have grown and harvested our food; those people make plenty of money off me already with the ridiculous price of fresh pineapple and mangoes. Instead we symbolize our appreciation of those people through gifts to friends and family, people we actually care about.
As we are on the cusp of Thanksgiving, I know my American compatriots are busily stocking their cupboards and refrigerators with food that they will undoubtedly end up throwing in the bin by next Monday. I imagine the shopping lists and the car boots filled to the rim. I miss such rituals! As a way to ease my homesickness, Christopher has promised to dine with me tomorrow, having arranged a turkey supper to be delivered from the Rose and Crown. He has also been working all weekend to construct a cornucopia in my drinks cabinets to symbolize the abundance of my earthly rewards. I can say without hesitation that I am very thankful for Christopher, and I only hope that the generous pay packet I give him each week goes some way in showing my gratitude. It’s never quite the same, though, having a Thanksgiving dinner just for two; I only wish more of my neighbours could join me in the feast. However, they are mostly dicks and therefore I do not invite them.
But I hope all my readers, whether American or not, will follow my model of wishing the world a wonderful holiday season. Please be charitable to those less fortunate and give thanks to those you appreciate!
NOTE: To donate to the “I’m So Thankful for Miss Agatha Whitt-Wellington that I’d Like to Help Her Retile Her Roof” Fund, please contact Christopher directly with your credit card details.
As we are approaching the season of consumerism, scratch that, giving, I’ve decided to offer some of my crime prevention suggestions to you, my loyal readers, free of charge. Please do not assume that these suggestions aren’t as valuable as the ones I’ve given in lectures in years past (where the organisers have generally asked for a small monetary donation): it’s just that here you don’t get biscuits. Go grab yourself some if you feel they’re needed for you to be able to pay attention.
I only mention that I’m offering this advice gratis to highlight that, sadly, during the run-up to Christmas, there is a smorgasbord of scammers and dodgy dealers just waiting to relieve you of your hard-earned cash. This is my first tip: be weary of everyone. Now you know me, you trust me, because I’m very likeable, honest and always leave my clientele satisfied, if you know what I mean. So were I to request a small fee, it would be sensible to pay it. However, how many times do you hand over your coins or credit cards to people whom you do not know, admire or find sexually alluring? Just bought your wife a necklace–are you sure the jeweller isn’t in the blood diamond trade? Found a great deal online—how reputable is the company? Are you supporting animal abuse with your holiday meal purchases? The donation you made outside the Post Office—was the fact that the man owned a red bucket all you needed to hand over a tenner? I’m certainly not saying that you shouldn’t buy things from retailers or give money to charities. I’m just saying if you’re going to be mindless about how you throw your money about, don’t come whining to me about being ripped off. And if you are financially supporting corrupt companies and practices, then in many ways you’re just as bad as the criminals themselves. What are you going to do next, kill a fluffy kitten just to watch it die? You disgust me.
Another crime that seems to peak this time of year is pickpocketing. People get so wrapped up in how many errands they have to run or how many purchases they have to make that they let their guards down. They focus on their lists or rushing to beat the queues, and they leave their purses or pockets easily accessible to baddies. My tip to avoid those with sticky fingers is to keep your wallet hidden upon (but not within) your person. Women are advised to keep their cash in their brassieres; men should tuck it discreetly into the pockets of their Y-fronts. Yes, it may be uncomfortable and possibly awkward at the till, but it’s safer, and safety don’t come easy, baby. I do not, though, recommend this technique when shopping in toy stores, for obvious reasons.
Break-ins are also popular during this season. It’s best to assume that burglars are constantly staking out your home. They’re watching you carry in bundles of purchases, they take note of the empty boxes you put out with the recycling, they know when you’re packing the car to go away for a few days. The only way to deal with this threat is to beat them at their own game. Be sensible when displaying new and expensive items you’re bringing into the house; use security lighting outside your home; cancel milk and post delivery, set timers or hire a housesitter if you’re going away; devise a schedule which means a family member is sitting guard at all entry points to your house 24-7 from today until mid-January. Don’t be a passive victim. Getting robbed is terrible, but it stings even more if you could have proactively avoided it.
Lastly, the holiday season includes many parties, and these parties often involve the imbibing of excess amounts of alcohol-based concoctions. As statistics show, when people drink too much, they are more likely to become aggressive which can lead to cruelty, violence and property damage. My tip for avoiding any trips to hospital and/or the local police station is to water down Granny’s sherry from the get go and confiscate both her cane and knitting needles upon arrival.
Be safe and wise when celebrating, my dear ones, and have lovely holiday season!