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Different Ways of Doing Thanksgiving This Year

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When you listen to the average person discuss Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving week, it rarely sounds pleasant. You’ll hear the wails of forced smile-and-interest conversations, hiding your thoughts, opinions and yourself, horrid traffic, the chaos of Black Friday – it goes on. It’s some kind of weird vanilla-play-cuckold-gleeful masochism and, despite my outer appearance, I would normally consider myself a purveyor of all things kinky and devious, but this doesn’t sound like anything I’d be into. Why do we do it? I mean, I get why – tradition, society, family, and such, but I propose this year we try something different. It’s time we challenge and change this paradigm. Let’s do something else, something different. Let’s be anti this year.


image from fab

A holiday celebration focused around friends and those who are family-like. The strong connections we’ve formed ourselves; the beautiful bonds formed through work, school, and exploration. Many of us probably already plan some sort of Friendsgiving party and this is a modern tradition that should continue. Plan one for the night before Thanksgiving, giving yourself a cheerful start to the hectic holiday four-day weekend ahead or plan one the day after as we’ll discuss later.

Real Giving

image from Tasting Table

Take time at some point during the week to volunteer at a homeless shelter, a food or clothing drive, or with an organization providing dinner to those in need. There are many kitchens, shelters, organizations, and even restaurants who are providing Thanksgiving dinner to those less fortunate. If it is really meant to be a time of giving thanks – a real way of expressing thanks is by realizing your own fortune and giving your time and being of service to those less fortunate. We live in a world and culture of excess. This year let’s spread the bounty and show love to your fellow person. They need it.

Fuck Black Friday

image from Captain Dapper

Yes. Black Friday is someone telling you that what you have isn’t good enough, that you don’t have enough, and that you need more. It’s an abusive relationship with a marketing firm and I want you to find your value and leave. They don’t deserve you. Essentially, they took the consumerism of Christmas and said “Let’s see if we can have this twice a year”. Black Friday is ONLY beneficial if you’re making large electronics purchases and you actually do catch a great deal. Aside from that, no your don’t need that extra BluRay player. No, your mother doesn’t need a new toaster in a red finish regardless if it’s half off. Yes, those DVDs are $5 a pop and, no, you aren’t going to watch Here Comes The Boom, ever. Step away from the unnecessary. You can do it. Good!!! You’re saving yourself horrible traffic, congested parking lots, and apparently motherless people exhibiting their absolute worse behavior. The best way to destroy this horrible practice is to reject it totally. Plan a Friendsgiving potluck slash game night slash movie binge day. Also, instead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and giving all your money to big companies you can participate in Small Business Saturday. Support your local mom and pop shops, small neighborhood boutiques, and independent sites/Etsy shops. Walmart and Target don’t need anymore of your money, but your artist friends do.

Self Giving

image from Glamour

Yes, take the weekend off. You’re already working two jobs, 60 hours, paying $2000 for a converted livingroom with roommates, who are what would happen if craigslist introduced The Real World to Hostel. Why give yourself anymore headache? Take a chill pill for the weekend. #selfcare

If you aren’t religious, Thanksgiving and Christmas are essentially the same thing minus the presents and if you don’t celebrate the real history of Thanksgiving, it’s not so much to try something new. When you consider the fact that the indigenous peoples of Standing Rock are currently being sprayed with water hoses in freezing weather and being attacked by a souless US government – that imagery, that bloody repeating of a history that a majority of America wants to forget happened, forces you to create a new model. If you dread the holiday week use this as an alternative. If you love the holiday week, add some of these ideas, and share them, and have an even more enjoyable, eventful, and meaningful week.

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Jamal Frederick - Second Hand Scribe

Jamal Frederick - Second Hand Scribe

Born in all the jazz that is Fillmore, San Francisco, Jamal has moved all around the beautiful Bay Area. Currently living in the SF diaspora, the married Jamal raises babies, makes cocktails and writes. He is currently working on multiple projects with the most recent being his San Francisco-centric cocktail book: Souvenir. Follow him online, find him, try his drinks, read his writing and have a good conversation with him, he needs adult company...