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Alternatives to Thanksgiving Celebration

Wednesday Addams Thanksgiving
For the first 12-15 years of my life, I did not celebrate Thanksgiving. Only because we don't celebrate it in Haiti and once we moved to the US, it took us about five or seven years to get with the mental programming to practice a day of gluttony. A day centered around a dead carcass while pretending the mass genocide which made this holiday possible never happened.   Ok, seriously.
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Before I continue, let me start by saying this is not a political or "ism" article about why you should or should not celebrate this holiday.  It's a Tutu view of the absurd.  If you don't have a warped sense of humor, I will encourage you to stop reading now.
 
For the rest of you. READ ON!
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WHY SEEK ALTERNATIVES TO HOLIDAYS
I may be alone in saying this, but some of you may remember your single days and how you had to come up with alternatives for Valentine days so you wouldn't look pathetically lonely. Like me, you may have bought yourself flowers, a bottle of champagne, and a beautiful card. Knowing full well if it didn't matter, you wouldn't have done any of those things.   Or poverty days, when you may have had to come up with alternatives for Christmas gift giving like "homemade" gifts so your family wouldn't' think you were a cheapskate or worst pretended they like the gifts while you knew better.  Or more self-awareness days when you had to come up with alternatives for just about everything you've been programmed to believe because you were still finding yourself at the age of 30.  Ok, maybe that's just me.
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It is in times like these that we look for ways to do things differently whatever our reasons.  What I've found most liberating is when we choose a different path than the norm, it's precisely in those times that we discover a sleeping or sometimes dying part of us that has been waiting for our acknowledgment, nurturing and acceptance.  Looking at things differently often expands our horizons and help to nurture the version of ourselves that silently cries out to be free from mass control.
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ALTERNATIVES TO CELEBRATING THANKSGIVING
Here are some lighthearted alternatives to celebrating Thanksgiving. I've personally done all of them at least once.  So, I recommend them all.
 
Image result for drama comedy line artEnjoy a pretend harvest festival (even if you don't have a farm): Look at the bounty in your life and celebrate all that you have worked for this year. The toil and hard work you've put in.  Look at dozens of canned and packaged goods stored in your pantry and say to yourself. I may not have worked the land, nor harvested any of this, but I paid for it. So it's my harvest (insert expletive here).
 
Image result for drama comedy line artSpend the day or a few hours in gratitude (giving thanks to an invisible god of your choice): You may not feel up to a grand harvest tradition, but you can always give thanks to g-d for the people and things in your life. Be sure to give thanks for the small stuff, and acknowledge those individuals who are doing worst than you. There's always people who have less than you. Only through this awareness can we be truly grateful for what little we may have accumulated. Be even more grateful for the less you have gathered in storage bins around you, the less you will miss when you are called out of this physical reality.
 
Image result for drama comedy line artServe food at a homeless shelter: Around the holidays, many do-gooders ignore the remaining 360 plus days in favor of overwhelming their local shelter to serve food to the homeless. Why not you? Just for one day, you too can feel like a saint. And besides, it is much better to spend the holidays with complete strangers you don't like, then to spend it with people you know and don't want to be around.
 
Image result for drama comedy line artEnjoy a relaxing staycation alone: I've done this countless times. While this can be a form of escapism, who cares. Just tell people that it's a new family tradition, and they won't know the difference.  Why waste the gas, stress of travel, and all those annoyances that come with holidays. Save the money and have a fun day alone doing absolutely nothing. You deserve it!
 
Ok! For the serious stuff.
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I wrote this post to make myself, a few friends and my family chuckle. While I figure a couple of you out there in internet world may enjoy it too, the sad truth is this holiday experience is much more complicated.
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My heart is heavy because I know one too many family and friends who cannot celebrate this weekend - no matter what views they hold about the holiday.  Their lives are filled with grief and pain overshadowing any holiday cheer. I am especially aware of those who continue to suffer from atrocities past and present because of man's greed, fear, and racism.  I'm saddened by the treatment of those on Standing Rock. I stand with millions all over the world, whose land and people have been violated and who continue to fight heartless men with guns sometimes with only candles and prayers.
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May mankind create more peace within himself.
 
Tutu
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Published by Irmina Tutu

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