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7 Reasons the UK Should Celebrate Thanksgiving Day
Thanksgiving Day in America is a couple of days away now (it was a couple of weeks ago in Canada). It’s one of those holidays that the British know little about and often resent the idea of. Most of what we know has been gleaned from various American TV shows and talking with Americans on holiday. Recently I read Bill Bryson’s “I’m A Stranger Here Myself” where he talks about thanksgiving and raises an interesting point, why hasn’t the rest of the world adopted it?
As the days went by, this thought kept circulating in my head and I agree with him wholeheartedly. So here I put forward my seven reasons recommending why the UK should start to celebrate Thanksgiving Day:
1 – Thanksgiving Day in America isn’t really linked with the events they supposedly celebrate. The original intention of Thanksgiving was the Pilgrim Forefathers, who landed on December 4th 1619, as thanks to God. Modern Thanksgiving actually has its roots more closely tied with events in 1621 when the Pilgrim Fathers celebrated their first successful harvest. It was Abraham Lincoln who declared Thanksgiving would be on the last Thursday of November, yet no one knows why. So the link between Thanksgiving and Americana is hardly unbreakable – I’m certainly not suggesting we celebrate July 4th. But the uncertainty of the original reasons for Thanksgiving day should not put us off celebrating the occasion!
2 – Shops would not start promoting Christmas until the end of November - no longer would we see Christmas Crackers on our supermarket shelves in August as we’re walking round in flips flops and bermuda shorts as the sun stilll shines outside!
3 – We’ve been crying out for an extra bank holiday for years now -even with the Royal Wedding in 2011, we desperately need something in between the August Bank Holiday and Christmas Eve, plus it’d be a Thursday off which would be unique.
4 – It’s an honest, straight forward holiday – no greetings cards, no presents, no hype, just a day off to spend with those nearest and dearest. (though I’m sure Thanksgiving merchandising would begin instantly!)
5 – Choosing which parents to visit – because it’s close to Xmas it would make the whole “whose parents are we spending Xmas with this year” conversation much, much easier. As you they are so close together it’d be convenient to go to one set of parents for Thanksgiving and the other for Christmas.
6 – We’ve picked the wrong USA tradition – Halloween is becoming bigger and bigger in this country, but in my opinion we’ve picked the wrong American tradition to adopt. Teaching our children that it’s okay to knock on strangers doors and ask for “Candy” is just not right. Furthermore, we also tell them it’s perfectly acceptable to play “tricks” on those who choose not to participate in this made up holiday. These are hardly the lessons we should really be teaching are they?
7 – Because Thanksgiving isn’t based in any religion – it’d be an opportunity to all get together and do the one thing we don’t do enough of – give thanks for everything we love and are grateful for. Be they friends, family, neighbours or pets. And what is worth celebrating more than that?
This post was written by Moneysupermarket shopping expert Simon James, you can read his more retail based articles on this blog.