Life around the world

Monday, 26 November, 2012 - 22:14

5 reasons why I wish we celebrated Thanksgiving in the UK

by Ellen Baston

Last Thursday, America celebrated Thanksgiving, a festival that dates back to 1621, according to Wikipedia. It all began when the Pilgrims enjoyed a bumper harvest and even today a laden table is central to the festivities. On the fourth Thursday of November each year, Americans travel home and gather together to eat, watch TV and give thanks. As a Brit, I could only watch from afar as this gratitude overtook Twitter and Facebook. When I lived in France, my American friends cooked us a feast and we all got to partake in this special holiday. So I’ve been thinking, I wish we celebrated Thanksgiving in the UK and here are my reasons why it’s a great idea… 1. Twice the turkey! We all love roast turkey with all the trimmings; it seems a shame to only enjoy it once a year. Plus, I think the chickens would thank us! 2. There are no presents. Although it’s great to give and receive, wouldn’t it be nice to simply spend time with our families without any of the stress of gifts? No unwanted socks or itchy jumpers to return and no tricky aunt to buy for – perfect! 3. It makes it easier to divide your time between two families – one for Thanksgiving, one for Christmas. This could mean the end of those tense negotiations and having to wait a year to spend the holiday with your favourite cousin. Instead, you get the chance to celebrate with everyone, all within about a month! 4. It’s all about being thankful. It seems almost impossible to avoid the stress and commercialisation of Christmas, but apart from a few turkey-themed baby outfits, there’s not much to buy for Thanksgiving. It would give us a real chance to pause and appreciate all that we have, I can’t think of any better reason to celebrate than that! 5. It makes it clear that we’re heading towards Christmas. Thanksgiving provides the perfect marker for the start of the Christmas season. As soon as the table’s cleared we could put up the tree and get excited about carols and mulled wine. Anything that builds up festive anticipation is ok by me! Will you join me in the campaign to bring Thanksgiving across the pond? I think we could all benefit from am extra, thankful holiday.
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Do you have any celebrations that are similar to Thanksgiving in your country?

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