Monday Notes: Happy Holidays!

I’m one of those people who starts thinking about the holidays as soon as October hits. I looooove everything about the holiday season. EVERYTHING!

So, this year, I’m taking five weeks off from blog writing. I’ll still be reading yours, of course, and I may do a couple re-blogs, but I need a minute.

I need a minute to figure out how to make vegan chocolate chip cookies. If you have a recipe, then drop it in the comments for me.

I need a minute to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Best in Show.

I need a minute to play Black Uno and Taboo for the Culture with my family.

I need a minute to put up our five Christmas trees.

I need a minute to take a boat ride around St. Augustine to ooh and aah over everyone else’s lights.

I need a minute to watch all of my favorite Christmas movies. Maybe I’ll add some new ones this year, since Lifetime and OWN seem to be in a competition for most all-Black casted Christmas films.

I need a minute to spend time with friends turned framily.

I need a minute to drive to Myrtle Beach to spend time with actual family. Of course, I’ll be back, but until then, Happy Holidays to everyone! I hope you have a restful time however you see fit 😉

Thanksgiving? 🦃🍁🍂

dinner-1060352_1280Did everyone have a great Thanksgiving? I did, but something’s been bothering me over the past few days. It began when I read Tareau’s commentary. You can find it here. His description of Indigenous People’s Sunrise Gathering elicited some ill feelings. I was just about to sit down and enjoy half a Cornish hen, mashed potatoes and green beans that I’d prepared.

I consider myself pretty conscious. So I thought I was doing pretty good not overindulging in turkey, dressing and other common staples. Certainly, Tareau wasn’t talking to me. Was he? I know the trials and tribulations of Native Americans. Surely, I can enjoy my food and be #woke. Right?

I finished my dinner and stumbled across Darryl’s post, explicitly titled, Thanksgiving and Black Friday: The Epitome of American Culture. Was the universe trying to tell me something? Darryl very succinctly explained the irony of the American football game for the day. Well, there’s nothing I could do about NFL scheduling, so I didn’t feel as bad, but I did begin to think that maybe baking hens isn’t enough of a rebellious stance.

My next stop was Facebook. Unfortunately, I didn’t screenshot my friend’s post, but here’s a loose paraphrase:

We all know where Thanksgiving came from so stop telling everybody about the Indians. Today is a day when most of us just get together to be with family and eat food, so enjoy it the best way you know how.

On the one hand, I used to be one of those didactic people sharing all kinds of information about Native Americans and how this wasn’t a holiday for them. On the other hand, I understood what he was saying. The holiday has changed. We’re not pilgrims celebrating the deaths of indigenous people. We’re people eating food with family.

Just when I’d begun feeling okay about how I’d celebrated this year, Dwight posted four things; two were about the Dakota Pipeline and the other two? Thanksgiving origins.

We talked about it during our Sunday walk.

“You got me thinking about planning a family trip to Plymouth Rock!”
“I was thinking the same thing,” he said.

By the end of our walk, I’d decided this. Whatever I do for any holiday is fine, as long as I’m doing it consciously. This year I was mindful about the amount of food the girls and I cooked, and I’m good with that. There’s no leftover anything and I don’t have to force someone to eat turkey for seven days. Conversely, Dwight and I could have a more in-depth conversation with the girls about why there’s a so-called Thanksgiving. If we add a road trip to Massachusetts, then I’ll let you all know. But for now, that’s as far as our activism will reach.

What about you? I know the holiday is over, but I’m wondering why, how and if you celebrate? Do you consider indigenous people on this day? How active do you have to be to be an activist?