Published: Nov 28, 2016 12:00:00 PM

not-enough-wine.gifThe North American continent wasn't really designed to accommodate one hundred million people criss-crossing the four winds to be elsewhere on the same day.

And yet, Thanksgiving demands we pack up and traverse this rat's nest of clogged arteries.

Why do we do play to this inconvenient obligation?

\\\ What is the point of Thanksgiving?

The point of Thanksgiving isn't to be the one who made it to the table.

Thanksgiving isn't about being reminded of "where we came from."

Thanksgiving isn't about proving we care so much about our families that we'd inconvenience ourselves at the exact same time every other fragmented American family is trying to board an airplane with disobedient pre-schoolers.

Thanksgiving isn't about verbally sparring with our immediate and extended families for seventy-two hours, or even for just two hours, embroidering as much second-hand news into their cold, unbeating hearts as one possibly can during such a short span. I mean, that is a really big part of Thanksgiving, but it isn't the point.

Thanksgiving isn't about letting your family's traditional cooks do what they're best at.

Thanksgiving isn't about football. The NFL is an exploitative tax shelter for billionaires to make money off the backs of braindamaged animal-men.

Thanksgiving certainly isn't about Black Friday, perhaps the effective marketing mechanism since the escalator.

Thanksgiving isn't about flicking through your email inbox in Sunday night, wondering how on earth so many messages went out after the slowest weekend in America?

Hey, how about that, I still haven't answered what Thanksgiving is about.

\\ Yeah, okay, but enough about what Thanksgiving ISN'T!

Don't think of Thanksgiving as your tiny window to draw a line in the sand for all to see.

Thanksgiving is about being there at the table though, to see smiling or forgiving faces, wherever you can find them, family or otherwise.

Thanksgiving is your chance to reflect on where you've come from. Know this, where do you want to go?

Thanksgiving is about sacrifice. This means you'll break from your comfort zone and engage in major inconveniences to be with people that want to be with you, even if that involves sitting on a bus in traffic somewhere on interstate 95.

Thanksgiving is about remembering that even when you disagree with your family on things like zealous devotion to a decaying bag of pumpkins stuffed into an ill-fitting suit, you need to look that devotion in the face, and you need to be seen, too. It's not about winning an argument or convincing anybody. It's about being a living person with belief and to be seen.

Thanksgiving is about learning how to cook from the best in the family.

Thanksgiving is about football. America loves football.

Thanksgiving certainly is about Black Friday. Specifically, it's about noticing everyone in your family and becoming conscious of what you'd like to give them. You have one month to find that something. Don't feel obligated to buy something.

Take careful note: if Black Friday didn't make stores a ton of money, it wouldn't exist every single year.

Thanksgiving is about ignoring your inbox for one more day.

Thanksgiving is about thinking real hard. Thanksgiving is about being held still for just a moment, jailed in our thoughts, obligated to think before returning to the fake-ass planets we normally orbit.

-- Alex Crumb
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