My family would probably think I’m horrible for this, but I just have no use for Thanksgiving or Christmas, and have little to no intention to participate in their archaic rituals this year.
I suppose I associate Thanksgiving a little too closely with Columbus day, which involves a little too much colonialism, murdering and stealing of land. If Columbus day is the day we celebrate Columbus’ birth for the fact that he “discovered” this land (could have sworn some Amerigo dude did that?), then is Thanksgiving the celebration for the fact that we managed to conquer the natives and make them passive and docile to our needs? For me, it is too much a celebration of the fact that we managed to settle the land and establish a hierarchy of social power, placing natives in a position where their power was limited, even though by most recorded laws throughout history, they were the legal occupants of the land. Like a band of barbarians (or maybe like Vikings?) we landed, conquered, took what we want and took advantage of the native population. Perhaps the holiday has been reclaimed and converted as a way for offering thanks to …. to what, to who? Oh, right, that God thing. Oops, I don’t have one of those. Guess its another reason I can’t participate. Beyond that it seems to be a holiday for reflection. I am a scholar, I am constantly in reflection, and will probably spend the day reflecting on the ways in which the white man has managed to secure a position of power in society. Seems like a good way to celebrate the landing at Plymouth and the conquering of the primitive native beast, right?
Christmas is a much harder holiday for me. I have been conditioned to appreciate the holiday. It has more or less been a good opportunity to spend time with family, especially after I managed to free the holiday temporarily from its assembly-line feasting that my family likes to partake in, oddly enough by supplying tons of sweets and encouraging a social atmosphere (I think the booze in the wassail helped my family become sociable). I simply am not religious. Originally I thought I had not been socialized into an appropriate religious family for me to pick up on the Christian enthusiasm, but it is as simple as I do not directly believe in a god/gods. I am comfortable with the not knowing, accepting that there may be a God or maybe not, but I am not comfortable with accepting blindly a religion. What makes the Christians right? I just can’t accept it. I don’t have the evidence, nor am I compelled to accept blindly on faith a topic that can be so widely disputed. Not accepting the Christian god seems to eliminate me from practicing such a religiously inspired holiday. On top of that, the holiday itself is not really that religious, even though it promotes itself as such. The holiday has evolved to a gift giving day where the good little Christian capitalists have to prove how much they care about people in their life based on how much they can afford/are willing to spend on those people. I tried for years to get into the spirit of things, if not for myself, then for the good of those around me, but I just can’t do it anymore. It seems to fake, and basically like another celebration of white privilege and capitalist conquest.
Unlike the “Christians” who will partake in both of the above mentioned holidays, I choose to not participate in the disguising sin of gluttony this year. Eating for pleasure until one is absolutely stuffed seems to be unnatural.