The Mountain Times

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Thanksgiving memories from a distant time

Thanksgiving has changed a lot since I was a child in the late 20th century. When I was a child, Thanksgiving was about spending time with family, being grateful for what we had, and eating some of Grandma's famous pumpkin pie.

Back then, aunts and uncles and cousins and siblings would set aside their differences, gather 'round the table to eat a bland, caloric meal, (and maybe eventually die of a heart attack a few years down the line.) Back then, pumpkin pie was made from real pumpkins left over from Halloween, and sure, they were kind of moldy and putrid, but times were tough in those days, and we weren't about to spend a hard-earned nickel on a can of pumpkin purée.

Nowadays people often buy frozen turkeys from the supermarket. In my time, we hunted down the turkeys ourselves, and if we couldn't catch one, we ate a dog or a cat instead. Times were tough in those days, and we learned how to make do.

At that time, stuffing was made from real "stuff": yarn, Q-tips, marbles. We didn't use those instant mashed potatoes packets, unless maybe we did, I can't remember.

In the 20th century, the president of the United States never pardoned a turkey. You see, in those days, turkeys worked hard, and they didn't depend on the government for assistance. That's just the way we were raised. And by "we," I mean turkeys, apparently.
Thanksgiving used to be about caring for one another and helping those in need: donating canned food, volunteering at the local soup kitchen. I guess people still do that. Whatever, you see my point.

Thanksgiving is different now. Families still get together, but everyone is watching football or fiddling around on an iPad. Some families don't even bother to cook. They're too busy Twittering and drinking Frappuccinos. It's a disgrace.

When I was a child, Thanksgiving was about wearing dark clothing with hats and buckles, palavering with the Indians, and hanging out at Plymouth Rock. Nowadays it's just all about skateboards, plastic surgery, and dubstep.

I'll always treasure my Thanksgiving memories. The time Aunt Kay accidentally dropped the mashed potatoes on Uncle Harold's head - what a laugh we had. The first time I watched "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving." The time I got on a bus in Los Angeles and it couldn't go slower than 50 mph or else it would blow up.

You see, in those days, Thanksgiving meant watching the Macy's parade, hiding colored eggs, and counting down with Dick Clark as the ball got ready to drop in Times Square. But a lot has changed. Today, Thanksgiving just means microwaved burritos, electric toothbrushes, and YouTube videos of small foreign children solving Rubik's Cubes blindfolded.

I'll never forget the Thanksgiving when the Beatles first appeared on Ed Sullivan, performing their smash hit "U Can't Touch This." They don't make Thanksgiving music like that anymore.

You see, back then, Thanksgiving was about covering your entire body in cream cheese, putting on a bow tie, and taking a stroll down Main Street. It wasn't about eating turkey or corn on the cob, or spending time with relatives. It was about drinking shots of Windex and playing Dance Dance Revolution. It was a more innocent time.

Wait, when is Thanksgiving again? It's in November, right?