It is my recollection that Thanksgiving in America goes all the way back to a festival initiated by George Washington proclaiming
"A day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts and many and signal favours of Almighty God."
But like all the best traditions IMHO; the meaning of Thanksgiving has morphed into a more appropriate and often secular ceremony on the last Thursday in the month of November each year.
Also note that Canada has a Thanksgiving too, but strangely its always a few weeks before the American one. Hmmm?
What happens in America then?
The story told to me via American movies and of Marcus's time living in America was:
Extended families do indeed come together.
Many Americans travel long distances to be with close friends and family
Then do really usually eat a turkey and other meat based foods
Families do indeed have a good time and stay together till at least Sunday.
There is indeed a few days of extreme goodwill and community which may often be absent at any other time of the year.
In other countries where Marcus and Agata have lived we notice that this same pattern happens normally only at Christmas. But for Americans (and Canadians) Thanksgiving free's up Christmas to be the family centric and not extended family hook up.
Pretty smart thinking I would say.
Watch out for Black Friday
And, if you did not know, the Friday following Thanksgiving is named Black Friday, a day ushering the start of an American shopping frenzy in the run up to Christmas.
It's now also available in Britain too.
What is Marcus and Agata's take on this event?
Well, in principle if you had prepared your Christmas present shopping needs ahead of time and just bought everything you needed for Christmas (an not more) on Black Friday you would definitely be
Trouble is, the advertisers have realised this and come up with schemes and incentives for you to spend infinitely more than you can possibly need. Our recommendation is therefore
- Please don't die laughing if I say: consider need over greed and want. Having said that ....
- Ahead of time, plan for something that you really fancy (for yourself, or a Christmas present to others)
- Search for that thing on Black Friday
- Limit yourself to that one purchase, don't get carried away!
- It's similar advice to all gambling and overspending hearts. Quit while you are ahead.
Overall, I respect Thanksgiving and Black-Friday as practised in America. Thanksgiving has nicely morphed into a both religious and secular tradition allowing extended families with even mixed faiths to come together and share experiences for one period in the year.
Thanksgiving at Joy of Tech