Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it today!
This will be the first Thanksgiving weekend since sometime in the 1990s when we won't be attending Chessiecon (formerly Darkover). That's because it went on hiatus this year while preparing to move to a different hotel in 2020 (still in the Baltimore area). I'll be sorry to miss it this weekend. On the plus side, we'll get to participate in the first Sunday of Advent at our church, which usually conflicts with the con. There's always an Advent-wreath-making session, which we enjoyed when our sons were little.
Here's a page with some background and interesting facts about Advent:Advent Explained
It explores the way customs surrounding Advent, like those associated with Christmas, have been embraced by large numbers of Americans who aren't religiously observant. Clever marketing has expanded the family fun of the season in directions I hadn't heard of before. For quite a few years we and our kids opened daily windows on Advent calendars to reveal pieces of chocolate candy. We also had one that told the story of Dickens' CHRISTMAS CAROL day by day. Many calendars, though, follow unusual themes or dispense other kinds of treats. A FROZEN Disney Advent calendar should be expected, I guess. But how about a Star Wars LEGO Advent calendar? And for adults—designer nail polish? Whiskey?
These phenomena aren't too surprising, considering the millions of Americans who celebrate holidays such as Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Halloween, etc., without reference to their religious roots.
Thanksgiving, in a way, is the ideal holiday for a secular, multi-cultural society. Almost everyone can enjoy a feast and be grateful to somebody for something. Surely when we venture out beyond this planet, we'll take a similar festive occasion with us.
Margaret L. CarterCarter's Crypt
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