It would appear that Thanksgiving in North America is a celebration that is largely unaffected by the crass commercialism that has hijacked the one a month later. Why?
Those who know me will hesitate to say things like "Christmas spirit" and "oh, but it's for the children" or even "it's family time" within earshot. If you didn't know that about me, now you do, consider yourself warned.
While not a Christian, I support the right of others to be Christians, particularly if they support my right NOT to be one with equal fervour.
When I see "Xmas specials" and the related crap oozing into advertisements in September, it confirms for me the abuse of a festival (admittedly one the Christians themselves hijacked) for pure commercial gain.
And oh shit, the heat I take because I will not enter into the "Christmas Spirit"! What is it that the vast majority (who are no more Christian than my dogs are buddhist cat lovers) are actually celebrating? The birth of Jesus Christ? No. It's merely a mindless rush into some unnecesssary and in most cases, unaffordable consumption. How about saying STOP and just for a moment thinking whether we need all the Christmas "stuff".
How about rather saying, "I'm giving up this or that for Christmas"?
I doubt that South Africa is alone in the way this happens, but my eyes were recently opened to Thanksgiving and what it stands for in North America. Hell, even the crew over at DC got quite serious!
While I'm often critical of the way the USA conducts itself on the world stage or the way their country is run, there is much we can learn from them. Thanksgiving is but one.......
It would be appropriate for us in the southern hemisphere to be giving thanks at this time of the year. The end of the calender year.The beginning of summer. The year end break (yup, you Yankees have nothing on us when it comes to this....industry and much of business closes for a month! And in the month before and the month after they are preparing to shut down and recovering from lags in the supply chain) Imagine that, the whole country slips into neutral for a month. FOR CHRISTMAS!! Funny that, in a largely Pagan and animist country.
Anyway, I have much to be thankful for, I am very aware of that.
I chose to celebrate it by making the most of the bounty provided by my apricot trees.
Apricots, with blemishes, with bird damage and even some with worms. The presence of worms indicates that there is no poison, unlike commercially grown fruit.
And through a freestyle process involving a lot of this, and
ably supported by the Buddhist cat lovers,
I ended up with this.
"This" being a large quantity of smoked apricot chutney, apricot chutney with achaar masala and apricot jam with ginger. And still the apricots keep coming.
And in the background? A postcard depicting a bicycle race at the 1903 Athens Olympics.