On this side of the pond and in a portion of North America* a large number of people are dedicating a long weekend to gluttony, sloth, rampant consumerism, and the voyeuristic. Yep, it's Thanksgiving time again!
The roots of this holiday are in the harvest festivals of the Old World as well as certain events over here that have been iconified with time and propagandization. It's no wonder that certain Native American groups are just nauseated by the First Thanksgiving Reenactment concept, given the kind of treatment they got afterward, during and even before this period, but we'll put "rank ingratitude and abuse" on the back burner for now....
Its very name, implying our innate desire to thank "God" for aiding us in our mischief, is a little archaic as well as being as ridiculous as many of the weekend activities. How much deity-thanking is going to go on over the next four days, do you think? I imagine the vast majority is going to be in the vein of "THANK GOD, they're finally leaving!" or "THANK GOD, WE're finally leaving!" or "THANK GOD, Uncle Joe didn't drink as much this year...." Oh, sure, religiously-heterogeneous families will bow their heads and formally thank JESUS for the food -- I never quite understood the reason for that permutation -- but even if the prayer lasts a couple of minutes, it's unlikely that the thought and attitude will linger after the turkey begins to be passed.
An appalling amount of the religious fervor in the USA is of the sentimental and window-dressing sort. Oh, yes, I know a lot of good, kind people who are heart-felt Christians, but they'd be just as good and kind if they were Muslims or Buddhists or atheists, as far as that's concerned. It's just EASY to be a Christian here, no matter what the Dumfuckistani say. Nevertheless, people who haven't been in a church in years will bow their heads to thank a deity they really don't believe in, because they're guilted into it by their mothers, or their small children, or their own consciences.
This is usually the point at which we need to exert ourselves to celebrate like an actual Human Being, as opposed to being an Ass or a Swine or a Bull or ... you get the idea.
Some people seem to LIVE to be unpleasant and confrontational. The sympathetic might say that they're just so unhappy, they have to rain on everyone-else's parade, and we should pity them; there's a certain amount of truth in that, but it's a damned bad excuse. There are other possible explanations, too, an esoteric one being that they are psychically fed by the emotion they stir up -- i'm inclined to believe this. They are SUCH jerks that their own nuclear families dislike them, and they don't receive the subtle vibes (usually described exoterically as "love" or "support") that we all thrive on. That's why they stir up NEGATIVE energy -- it's better than the NONE they're accustomed to receiving from their "loved ones" as well as society in general.
If you have someone of this type to deal with, for the sake of the rest of the family (especially "Mom" or "Grandma," for whom this truly is a special day, and who has busted her butt in the kitchen for the last few days preparing for it) -- I suggest you google things like "how to make an asshole shut up" and get yourself a stable of replies to their provocative BS. Being provocative in reply doesn't work -- and distresses your hostess! (I'm putting things in feminine terms only because a lot of "moms" are the ones who have worked hard to make the event possible, though there are many men who fulfill the role in other families....)
It behooves us to show consideration to those who truly DO provide the dinner, in a physical sense. Whether or not you believe in a Supreme Being, your host/hostess didn't just wave a magic wand to make things happen -- they invested time, money, and energy to bring about a social gathering which SHOULD be as rewarding to them as it is to your stomach and taste-buds! If google-sourced attempts to make Aunt GINny behave aren't sufficiently effective, you might want to take her aside and tell her that behaving like to bitch to the Founder of the Feast is going to result in her roasting in hell for all eternity. :-D Cuz, you know, "faith without works is dead."
My husband and I will be spending a quiet holiday together, roasting a duck and enjoying low-carb versions of classic dishes. From us to all of you -- a happy Harvest Home, Thanksgiving, Turkey-Day ... however you want to term a celebration of good food and good company!
* It never ceases to amaze me how so many residents of the USA conveniently forget that North America isn't all about us. :-) I could go on and on, but....