Thanksgiving is two weeks from today and it’s my favorite holiday of the year. The thing I like most about Thanksgiving is that it’s a chance to spend the whole day with the extended family, and some years, friends too. This almost never happens in our family and I’m guessing, yours either. There’s plenty of food and drink, of course, but it’s really about the conversations. We talk about politics, music, football, fantasy football, and all sorts of other things. For this one day, we’re not in a rush. There’s no work or school or anything else. We’re just hanging out, having a few drinks, watching football, and laughing a lot.
I love that there is no religious aspect to the holiday(at least not in my family). Religious holidays are a drag for the non-believers out there.
I really love that there is no commercialism either. No one is trying to sell us anything, other than food, for Turkey Day. Unlike the holidays next month, no one is rushing around, worrying about buying just the right gift, fighting traffic, etc. No, this one day is just about family and friends. And food. Lot’s of food. Eat through the pain, people. In recent years, some stores have decided to open on Thanksgiving to get a head start on holiday shopping. I absolutely hate that idea and it’s encouraging to see the yearly backlash. It doesn’t appear to stop too many people from going out to shop though. Oh well, it’s their loss.
Musically, when I think of Thanksgiving, two things come immediately to mind. The first is Arlo. It’s hard not to think of his opus. The second thing though, and the one that resonates with me more than any other, is The Last Waltz. The Last Waltz was the final concert from all five, original members of The Band and it took place on Thanksgiving Day, 1976. It was also famously captured on film by Martin Scorcese. Is there a voice in rock and roll history more American than Levon’s? I don’t think so.
If I could time travel, there are a few shows I would just need to see in person, and this one is right near the top of the list, along with the Monterey Pop Fest, The Stones and King Crimson at Hyde Park, and a couple of the Isle of Wight shows.
Happy Thanksgiving, two weeks early!