Letters from the Editor: Flesh and blood

Thanksgiving is not a universally positive holiday for many. Indeed, in some households it’s viewed with dread, representing an awkward, obligatory time of year where political views and family skeletons create a minefield of arguments and hurt feelings. It is nevertheless my very favorite holiday, and I find myself incredibly frustrated by the people and corporations that would rather move it aside entirely in favor of sale prices and endless replays of “Jingle Bells.”

Perhaps my infatuation with the feast is due to the fact that I have never really dreaded it. Once Thanksgiving was a time for family and close family friends, but upon moving to Seattle the yearly tradition became one of our merry band of expatriates, refugees from Alaska, California and the Midwest brought together by circumstance and oddity. In any case, it was a time for merriment and the gathering of loved ones. I’ll be in Seattle preparing for this year’s event by the time you pick up this newspaper and I definitely won’t be thinking of class (or work) for the duration.

Perhaps it’s the aspect of choice that makes Thanksgiving finally come into its own. Nobody likes being dragged by familial association into groups of unfamiliar and possibly hostile people, and the fact that the holiday does that to so many is probably why it has such a bad rap. They say the family of the 21st century is made up of friends, not family, and whether you find blood is thicker than water or vice versa it’s probably safe to assume that you would rather be with those you choose rather than those you were born into.

I, for one, will be spending time with my 21st century family this holiday, and to those of you doing the same, I hope that it gives you the boost we’ll all need going into the final stretch of the fall semester. If you’re venturing forth into that dragon’s den of disagreeable family members, then I hope you keep your head down and power through. And if you have Christmas decorations up, stay the hell out of my face until Friday.

Happy Thanksgiving, hang in there everybody.

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