One day I really believe we will celebrate all the holidays. We will go beyond our western-centric obsession with President’s Day, Christmas and the Fourth of July. We’ll include Dwali, Ramadan, Buddha’s Birthday and all the others I haven’t yet discovered. I’m guessing there’ll be something almost every week (woo hoo- more 3 day weekends) although some things could be combined- I understand that in some parts of England Dwali is celebrated in conjunction with Guy Fawkes day. (blow something up, start a fire= festival of light, good over evil. Ok, makes sense I guess) and most cultures have some form of winter holiday around the solstice (Christmas-Eid al Fitr-Hanukkah-Kwanza-Yule anyone?) We could all just take December off. No work gets done then anyway- we’re too busy shopping, decorating and watching football. Frankly, we could all stand to do a little fasting after too much Holiday feasting (Eid), spend more time with our kids (Kwanza) and less time drinking at holiday parties.
It’s really already begun. We already have Cinco de Mayo events here and I understand that many Japanese celebrate the secular aspects of Christmas- stores decorate to lure in shoppers and so forth.
Then maybe the rest of the world will celebrate Thanksgiving with us- because they want to, because we’ve included them, because they’ve included us. (although we might have to negotiate the date with the Canadians or maybe the US will just take Oct 12 as a free day and they’ll take the last weekend in November off for Christmas shopping) Because Thanksgiving is supposed to be for everyone- “A celebration of Fall, food, and gratitude”*- So come on in- We’ll find a place at the table and please pass the mashed potatoes.
So this year I’m grateful: I am not in refugee camp in the Congo. I have not lost my pension in the economic debacle. (I didn’t have one to lose, but right now, I’m grateful for that too) I am not adrift somewhere with no one who cares. I have a job, I have a roof over my head and a turkey (or will have if the oven cooperates) on the table. I have a lovely granddaughter, a great son, and good friends.
I’m not sure I really need much else. Although a Dwali/Guy Fawkes bonfire sure sounds like fun.