Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving thoughts

Today is Thanksgiving in the USA, but it’s just a Friday in November in New Zealand. That makes sense, since Thanksgiving is an American holiday and has no relevance for Kiwis—apart from American expats in New Zealand, of course.

So, I was a bit surprised to see a New Zealand store hyping a “Black Friday” promotion. Their email announcing it had to explain what it is: "BLACK FRIDAY – the day following Thanksgiving Day in the USA – is the beginning of their Christmas Shopping season…" They didn’t bother explaining where the name comes from, which makes sense since it also has no relevance for New Zealand.

I actually feel sorry for New Zealand retailers: There’s no real “start” to the Christmas shopping season. We don’t have Halloween or Thanksgiving (and, of course, no Black Friday), so when is the start date for holiday shopping? On the other hand, we have no shopping frenzies, either—yay for New Zealand!

Still, Thanksgiving, eh? The idea of setting aside time for being thankful is not unique to the USA—many peoples in many countries do that. But does that also automatically mean thanking a god for whatever it is one is thankful for? We talked about that on the latest Arthur and Paul Talk. I said, no, one can be thankful for the good things that happen without the need to assign credit to one of earth’s many gods. Which is not to say that one of those gods isn’t real—how would I know? The point is, I think that we should be glad for all the good things that happen to us, and if it turns out some deity made it happen, well, so much the better for them. We should be thankful for good things, even if no gods exist. In my opinion.

The photo accompanying this post is my Thanksgiving turkey this year. Nothing dire—I happen to be on a diet, and a full American Thanksgiving dinner was out of the question (never mind that a harvest festival in late Spring seems more than a little absurd…). To be honest, it was a bit of a relief to not make a big dinner this year.

Nevertheless, despite my sarcasm, obvious and not, I’m very thankful this year as any other. I’m still alive (always a big plus), and I have a wonderful husband to share life with. I get bonus points for wonderful family, near and far, and for many friends, including those I know only through the magic of the Internet.

Yeah, lots to be thankful for, even without any huge dinneror shopping frenzies.


d said...

I think the shopping season here in Welly begins with the Xmas parade and the grand "reveal" of the Kirk's Xmas-themed windows. I think they may have a carnival too.

Roger Owen Green said...

well,I'm for Thanksgiving, aghast that black friday is starting on thursday, and glad to know you!