Giving Thanks for Thursday

22 11 2012

Having been an overseas observer of the US festival of thanks for the majority of my 44 years, I admit that I have always found it be slightly odd.

Without wishing to take anything away from the day itself, there are just a number of anomalies that stand out and make me smile.

For millions of Americans and transplanted ex-pats, it is a day to spend with family or friends and stuff yourself full of turkey/vegetarian alternative while watching TV. Or Christmas as it is known in the UK.

America basically shuts down for Thanksgiving. Even the most corporate of evil commercial chains seem to have shuttered their doors for a few hours, while across the country, people are getting together and giving thanks for something (spoiler alert: that’s where the name came from). It’s a good day to hang out, drink beer and eat food. Perfect preparation for the shopping bonanza on Black Friday that follows the Thursday of Thanks.

That’s the first thing.

Unlike most other holidays, TG doesn’t have a set date. It exists in a nebulous “fourth-thursday-of-november” sort of way, the date changing every year – which must be really confusing if you want to claim being born on Thanksgiving… Read the rest of this entry »


Everywhere I Go…George is with Me

20 02 2012

Americans do like a Federal Holiday.

Throughout the year there are eleven of these days and they normally have something to do with an important historical event or the recognition of a person (or persons) responsible for putting the country on the right path.

Today, we are thinking about Presidents. Mainly the ones who shaped the USA into the force of nature that it has become while also considering some of the men who may not have done the job quite as well as their election promises had claimed they would.

Officially, this federal holiday on the third Monday in February was originally conceived to honor George Washington. He was the first President of the United States, was the bloke who led the country to victory over the colonial oppressors from the tiny island across the pond and now stares impassively out from the one dollar bills that I always find in my back pocket after a night out.

To put it simply, Washington was the blueprint for all presidents since. Read the rest of this entry »