I could never really understand American Thanksgiving. We have Thanksgiving here in the Great White North as well, but we have it in October, with all the pretty leaves changing, and it is on a Monday, so it is like a regular long weekend. We have turkey. We have pumpkin pie. What we appear to be missing is some kind of hype that I'm not sure I really understand.
Why is American Thanksgiving (AT) on a Thursday? Is it so you will be able to justify an extra week off? Because if you are travelling, you probably do so Wednesday, and then you are there til Sunday, but to avoid travel rush you probably leave Monday.
Why is AT in November? November is not a pretty month. For example, here it snowed and freezing rained all day, and I'm sure our dear friends in Vermont who are celebrating today shared this lovely weather. Not so good for travelling. October is a much more reliable month.
Also, still on the whole November thread, why would you have AT so close to Christmas? It just seems that if you are going to have one holiday that pretty much lasts a whole week, and then another holiday that usually lasts a week, you would want to spread them out a little bit. Again, October wins.
Why do people feel like they HAVE to be with their families on AT? It is a phenomenon that baffles me. You don't have to be with your family to be thankful for them. And you are going to see them in less than a month anyway. We Canucks feel free to hunker down to our birds wherever we may find them. I have had my share of Thanksgivings with my family, but since moving 1000km away, I like to celebrate with my friends too. In fact, the celebrations with friends sometimes feel more genuine because they are not forced, not expected.
If you are American, please fill me in if you know the precise answer to any of my questions. And "it's tradition" is not an answer.
Of course, cynical me, I have a sneaking suspicion that it has to be on a Thursday so that retailers can have Black Friday (although we Canadians still seem to get all of our holiday shopping done without it), and it needs to be close to Christmas so that people are really in the buying mood.