Finding out that the First Thanksgiving we learned about in grade school was a load of crap was worse than learning that there’s no Santa Clause. So even though I’m all about being grateful for what I’ve got, Thanksgiving and I just aren’t simpatico. Just in case the same goes for you—for whatever reason—here’s a list of ten other things you can do on Thanksgiving Day.
10. Go all commercialist and eat at Ruby Tuesday’s. They’re open.
9. Go all anti-commercialist and protest the stores that will be open, like Target and Walmart.
8. Spend the day irritating the people you eat with by telling them stories about the slaughter of indigenous peoples, the Transatlantic slave trade, and human trafficking that continues today. Realize that your hot indignation will get you nowhere and you’ll be one step ahead of yours truly.
7. Use your wisdom and skip #8, opting instead to peacefully educate and work toward fighting modern day slavery. Pass the plate around the table or at church to help free people living in slavery.
6. Volunteer to help give out Thanksgiving meals to people who may not be able to have them. Our local KFC is doing this for free; check with your local restaurants and see if you can get involved.
5. If there’s no one hosting such an event, start one up. See how many people you can get together to quickly do some cooking and delivering. Check with a church for a list of families who could use a hot meal or head to the nearest shelter to donate.
4. Read the short story “Cold Turkey” by Carole Nelson Douglas. It might be hard to find a copy, but it’s oh so worth it.
3. Start a new tradition with your family and friends. Many will be off work anyway, so take advantage of it. Make it Paintball Day, or Everybody Races a Snake Day. Whatever. Just make it your own.
2. Search for an indigenous peoples’ charity to give to instead of buying a turkey and fixings. Or see if the whole family will pitch in together to provide medical help or a scholarship.
1. Be grateful and share your gratitude with others. With all our nation’s history and all of our current problems, we’re still pretty damn lucky.