Crowson: The Quiet, Contemplative Holiday
Tucked between the season of ghostly screams and the season of 20-megaton "Ho Ho Ho's" is the quiet, contemplative holiday: Thanksgiving.
Except for maybe the food industry, our commercial culture has not really devised too many ways to crass up this season. Thanksgiving lights don't adorn our homes like the orange Halloween strands and the glaring Las Vegas lights of Christmas. A few corn stalks, maybe a wreath of fall leaves and some left-over pumpkins are about all we can come up with for Thanksgiving.
There are tons of horror movies for October viewing, and the plethora of Christmas movies are already starting to bombard us here in mid-November. I can't think of too many Thanksgiving movies, though. In fact, to give my age away, the only Thanksgiving movie I can easily bring to mind is Alice's Restaurant.
There's no "Monster Mash" or "Jingle Bells" for this time of year, either. Most of us know the first couple of lines of "Over the River and Through the Woods," but that's about it.
So the unassuming, Thanksgiving holiday inconspicuously takes its seat at our tables. All it really asks of us is that we gather with family and friends, share a meal and, oh, yes, take a few moments to feel gratitude. I find it surprisingly easily to come up with a pretty long list of people and things I'm grateful for.
And on that list is this season itself. I'm grateful for a slow-down moment, a more-or-less unadorned day dedicated to Thanksgiving.