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 Post subject: Does Thanksgiving peas anyone else off?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:38 pm 
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I am cynical, so maybe it's just me. I tried to opt out of Thanksgiving last year but was unsuccessful, this year however, I was able to do it. My husband went to his family's meal, and I went and hiked around a state park and had a normal, plain, picnic lunch. Luckily for me my parents aren't the types to get hurt feelings, so they were not upset I wasn't eating with them.

Here's why it peas me off: It's supposed to be about being thankful for your blessings, but instead it's about utter greed and gluttony (eat all you can) and then people spend the day planning their greedy shopping the next day. It's become more about black friday than it is about giving thanks. The fact that people call it turkey day drives me insane, because that completely misses the point of what it is about. We are in a country where so many people are obese and unheathy, yet we make a huge public holiday out of eating all the crepe we can, the buying a bunch of crepe on credit we can't afford.

I'm not anti America really, it's just this one holiday that really grates on my nerves.


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 Post subject: Re: Does Thanksgiving peas anyone else off?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:44 pm 
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For us, it's one of the few times we plan a big meal and eat it all together at the nice table, with nice wine. We all eat different things, so meals are rarely coordinated. It also helps that lots of people get the day off, so families can actually eat together.

Shopping and Black Friday have nothing to do with it. I think most people separate out Black Friday from the actual holiday, but the money people spend between now and Christmas is pretty important to the economy. I don't really get the shopping fever, but I guess it's actually fun for some. I do know and have known lots of people who benefit greatly from being able to get seasonal jobs, and thus, paychecks.

But, really, anything that possibly can be commercialized and monetized will be; it's best to just ignore all that. Some years, we can spend the money to make a more elaborate meal, others we've kept it super simple. It's all good.

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 Post subject: Re: Does Thanksgiving p i s s anyone else off?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:57 pm 
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Maybe I"m just surrounded by the wrong people. It's literally about eating as much as you can. A couple of years ago, I went to my in laws for thanksgiving dinner. I wasn't vegan then, but was trying to eat healthfully and mindfully, so wasn't eating too much. Even after explaining that I was trying to eat healthy, his mother nagged me so much about eating more food that my husband had to tell her to shut up. And I"m borderline fat, so it's not as if I'm going to starve to death because of not eating much for Thanksgiving dinner.

I suppose what I should do is ignore tv, so I don't see all the black friday ads which get me riled up. Unfortunatley it's hard to because that's what everyone talks about at work.

And I'm not trying to bring people down who like Thanksgiving. I'd love to go to a dinner like the one you describe, lavawitch, where it's just about spending time with your family.


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 Post subject: Re: Does Thanksgiving p i s s anyone else off?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:59 pm 
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I have opted out of Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember. If I were close to my family I'd probably get excited about it, but I'm not. I am very thankful for the 4-day weekend, though -- something I did not have the luxury of enjoying for years when I worked in retail.

Honestly though, what holiday in the US isn't all about gluttony and materialism? All of the big ones are about eating lots of food and/or buying shiitake.


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 Post subject: Re: Does Thanksgiving p i s s anyone else off?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:02 pm 
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I think it depends on perspective. Usually I could give a hoot about Thanksgiving. This year I'm stuck working all day today and through Sunday and all I see around me is people celebrating. I'd love to be able to see my family and just hang out with them and feed them. We never shop or are gluttonous, we just make good food and spend time together. I try not to let the way other people choose to celebrate bum me out. But if Thanksgiving's not your thing, that's cool too.

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 Post subject: Re: Does Thanksgiving p i s s anyone else off?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:06 pm 
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The ads are a big reason I got rid of my TV. I used to find myself swearing at it (I live in a terraced house, so goodness knows what my neighbours thought was going on!) especially coming up for Christmas. It's fascinating, because now when I'm near a TV I get totally transfixed by it, and then I wonder if I was always like that.

I've had relatives urging everyone to eat more. I guess it's usually that they're trying to be hospitable, and seeing people eating a lot means they can feel they've done a good job making a delicious meal. I know it can be trying though.

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 Post subject: Re: Does Thanksgiving p i s s anyone else off?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:08 pm 
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Well, there are only three of us here. No extra guests or uncomfortable extended family, so there is that.

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 Post subject: Re: Does Thanksgiving p i s s anyone else off?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:10 pm 
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Black Friday is awful and I've never had any interest in it. I'm not someone who "goes shopping" to start with, if you know what I mean.

Personally, I don't think there's anything wrong with one day of gluttony-- especially if it's paired with a general principal of moderation.

It's really interesting to read this because I was just talking with my partner about how I feel like mainstream sentiment had shifted towards viewing Thanksgiving as being primarily about being thankful. But maybe it is, again, just the people I run with.

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 Post subject: Re: Does Thanksgiving p i s s anyone else off?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:11 pm 
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carmencita wrote:
I'm not anti America really, it's just this one holiday that really grates on my nerves.


There's nothing wrong with hating America! :)


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 Post subject: Re: Does Thanksgiving p i s s anyone else off?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:18 pm 
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growing up in my family Thanx was always a horrible event, stressful and gluttony and grumpy.....
As soon as I got old enough, I did my own Thanksgiving with friends, and it became my favorite holiday- a chance for my best friend and I to cook amazing gourmet goodies all day, have a bottle of wine before dinner was even done, and invite all our friends and anyone we knew who didn't have a place to go to. Now, far from home, it's the holiday I miss the most because there's no religious content and no gifting. Of course, I'm a continent away from full carts of groceries, black friday and buy buy buy, so I hear ya, carmencita.

One year I did get out of the home torture by volunteering to go serve the homeless Thanksgiving dinner. My family couldn't say anything against it, and I made some noise like I might ask them to come so they just let it slide. It was good fun.

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 Post subject: Re: Does Thanksgiving p i s s anyone else off?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:30 pm 
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Torque I thought I would get out of it 2 years ago, because I had to work 7am to 7pm at work, so I figured I was safe, since no one eats thanksgiving dinner that late. My in laws (trying to be helpful, honestly, they meant well) shifted dinner to like 6pm so I could stop by after work and have some. I protested but they did it anyway, so I went, cause I wasn't ballsy enough to just outright say no. This is the time that she nagged me about eating more, which was the last thing I felt like doing after working a 12 hour shift. I was exhausted and wanted to go home and sleep, not sit down and eat food at my inlaws after everyone else was finished.

The thing is, when thanksgiving dinner is just with my parents (which it usually was growing up, we didn't do too much with extended family) it was fun. We didn't make that much, so it wasn't stressful. Basically, it is just a normal dinner with a tad more effort. But that is completely enjoyable to me. Whenever I go to anyone else's house, it becomes a huge production that has a healthy dose of guilt added on if anyone (ie me) doesn't want to go.

I also feel very sorry for the retail employees now, many of whom have to work thanksgiving day as well as black friday. I worked retail for many years, and the holiday season is miserable for retail employees. So I feel so bad now that black friday starts on thanksgiving, because those poor employees get even less time with their family.


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 Post subject: Re: Does Thanksgiving p i s s anyone else off?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:43 pm 
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JonnyWoop wrote:
carmencita wrote:
I'm not anti America really, it's just this one holiday that really grates on my nerves.


There's nothing wrong with hating America! :)

Well, I would beg to differ. Hating an entire country seems a little bit wrong, no? I don't even think we have to delve any deeper into that statement to decide that it is just wrong. Being irked by some of the traditions, politics, and attitudes is one thing, and I'll be the first to admit to that in regards to some American issues, but hating just creates a uncaring attitude for millions of people whose lives very much matter.


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 Post subject: Re: Does Thanksgiving p i s s anyone else off?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:54 pm 
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Carmencita, is there any way you and your husband can just do Thanksgiving at your house? I'm lucky because my parents and in-laws are super chill, so we always have a good time. I got so tired of traveling for thanksgiving that this year my husband and I decided to host at our house. My in-laws didn't want to come (really split up extended family that lives closer to them than us) but my parents are driving up to spend time with us, even though we're not cooking a meal and I have to work during the day. So it's our house, our rules, less stress!

Oh, and we watch shows online so we don't have cable and can avoid all the crappy ads. I think that helps shelter us a lot from the crazy!

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 Post subject: Re: Does Thanksgiving p i s s anyone else off?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:04 pm 
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We're doing Christmas dinner at our house this year, and that's enough for us. Not to mention my husband works retail, so he'll have to be at work at 5:30am on black friday, so he didn't want the stress of hosting the meal at our house. But when we do that, it causes more stress because all his extended relatives live close by. When we did it at our house a few years ago, it caused a big ruckus because we set a strict limit of who we were inviting (we didn't want a huge crowd) and apparently that offended members of his family. It becomes a problem because if you invite, for example, one of his uncles..then you have to invite the uncles 3 kids, then invite those kid's kids, so it adds like 15 people who we don't know well at all but it's hugely offensive if you don't. WE just stuck to our guns the year we did it, and offended people, but decided we don't want that hassle again.

PS..does it make sense that to invite my twin bother and his wife/kids to christmas dinner, I also have to invite his wife's brother and mother (who I'm not close to at all)? I don't think so, but it's this kind of guilt that makes me very tense over the holidays.


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 Post subject: Re: Does Thanksgiving p i s s anyone else off?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:27 pm 
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I planned our meal for 4 people. Sure there was a ton of food but we also have plenty of leftovers. Sure I'm fat but that's my business. Making today's meal for me was about enjoying food with family.

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 Post subject: Re: Does Thanksgiving peas anyone else off?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:31 pm 
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I actually love Thanksgiving. I like my extended family and it's one of 3-4 times I get to see lots of them each year. Also, each year my family does a little bit better on the vegan thing at all the holidays, which is really nice. Thanksgiving is usually our biggest family holiday because the other holidays we get together for don't come with a whole day off on the holiday and an extra next day off for most of the family so people can travel without much stress. We don't have a gorging or football watching tradition in my family. I think holidays are what you make of them - you choose who to spend them with and what you're going to do, so why not take the opportunity of a few days off to create a special moment?


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 Post subject: Re: Does Thanksgiving peas anyone else off?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:33 pm 
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Well, I'm thankful that I have no family obligtations and can spend the day in with my girlfriend celebrating our anniversary, and making a new reason to celebrate the day and cook something festive in our own way (an Ethiopian feast, for this year).

Turn it into something else - or something new!

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 Post subject: Re: Does Thanksgiving peas anyone else off?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:23 am 
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I say start your own traditions and do what you want! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Does Thanksgiving peas anyone else off?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:19 am 
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It sounds like its not really the holiday you don't like, its the fact that you feel forced to celebrate it in a way you don't like.

I felt the same way about Christmas- my husband insisted we celebrate with his family (mine lives in Europe) and his mother never made me any vegan food so basically it felt like being forced to spend this "special" day with a bunch of rude strangers. And it was exhausting for me, because it would go from 4 to past midnight, in close quarters, smelling like meat, with this orgy of ripping paper of hundreds shitty gifts that no one really wanted. Bah humbug :).

But if I celebrate on my terms, as T says, its a whole different thing :) Can you and your husband find a way to celebrate that works for you?

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 Post subject: Re: Does Thanksgiving peas anyone else off?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 1:58 am 
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jdfunks wrote:

Turn it into something else - or something new!


Yes! This is the way I feel: depending on what you do for a living, there's a good chance you'll have this day off no matter what. And I think some sort of tradition is good to have, so if you're not going to work anyway, you might as well use the day to do SOMETHING special for yourself or others. Even if you eat pizza and watching movies in your pajamas, work it out.

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 Post subject: Re: Does Thanksgiving peas anyone else off?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 3:27 am 
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I, understandably as I'm an English person in England, don't celebrate it. It has been fun pretending it's some "quaint" local custom that my American friends partake in on Facebook with a slight puzzled-tourist-guidebook attitude.

I'm absent-mindedly looking through the Black Friday sales on Amazon, though, which we apparently have here.

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 Post subject: Re: Does Thanksgiving peas anyone else off?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:36 am 
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I don't like it but not really for any of those reasons. No one in my family pressures anyone to eat too much and our only talk of Black Friday is how none of got time for that.

But I hate hate hate having my diet be the center of everyone's attention, and without a doubt, it always is. This year was the least stressful so far for my foods and that's only because the attention got directed to my cousin who was eating vegan as well. And I just didn't eat. Ate before I left, visited for a few hours, and then came back. And that's sad, I shouldn't have to not eat to get my family off my back.

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 Post subject: Re: Does Thanksgiving peas anyone else off?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 9:54 am 
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jdfunks wrote:
Well, I'm thankful that I have no family obligtations and can spend the day in with my girlfriend celebrating our anniversary, and making a new reason to celebrate the day and cook something festive in our own way (an Ethiopian feast, for this year).

Turn it into something else - or something new!


That sounds awesome!
I've started enjoying holidays so much more since I've put myself and my little family first before other familial obligations. If it feels like a chore, I don't do it. I guess I've sort of reclaimed holidays to again belong to me, and not belong to family that I hate.

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 Post subject: Re: Does Thanksgiving peas anyone else off?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:34 am 
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I think holidays are what you make (or allow them) to be. I mean, Christmas was never about Christ in my family so why should I let Thanksgiving be about shopping and football and overeating?

Maybe Thanksgiving can be a day you dedicate to community service? Or the day you make your charitable donations for the year? Or the day you write to everyone you've been meaning to catch up with? Or whatever the hell you want it to be.

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 Post subject: Re: Does Thanksgiving peas anyone else off?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 23, 2012 11:49 am 
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Fee wrote:
I don't like it but not really for any of those reasons. No one in my family pressures anyone to eat too much and our only talk of Black Friday is how none of got time for that.

But I hate hate hate having my diet be the center of everyone's attention, and without a doubt, it always is. This year was the least stressful so far for my foods and that's only because the attention got directed to my cousin who was eating vegan as well. And I just didn't eat. Ate before I left, visited for a few hours, and then came back. And that's sad, I shouldn't have to not eat to get my family off my back.

I just posted on vegan pet peeves, but this SO much.
We visited part of my partner's family, and people spent almost the whole meal talking about vegans, eating meat, not eating meat, etc. They're not having a thoughtful discussion, basically just saying "huh, I'mglad I can eat meat!" I don't see has that warrants almost an hour of conversation.


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