The Cranberry Holiday

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Cranberries are local, native, and semi-inedible. They’re an acquired taste—a bit pointless, unless you’ve learned to appreciate them. Most cranberries come from the Ocean Spray cranberry growers cooperative. On this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for cranberries.

Jay Leno was just saying that Thanksgiving is an ideal holiday—you eat, you watch TV, you fall asleep. There’s no controversial content to Turkey Day—no presents, no guilt, no fasting, and, to quote Douglas Adams, nobody had to get nailed to anything.

I’ve been thinking, as the lights come on and the SUV’s drive by with dead evergreens tied to their tops, about how little the trappings of Christmas have to do with Christ. Thanksgiving, on the other hand, has such a low content level that it’s hard to miss it. You eat the appropriate harvest foods and be thankful about it. If you know anything about Pilgrims, you know they didn’t believe in freedom of religion. They tossed people out of the Massachusetts Bay colony just for suggesting that freedom of religion might be a nice thing. So there’s no need to feel either patriotic about our freedoms, or doubtful about our patriotism. Thanksgiving is just about having survived the year to date, and all my readers can feel grateful for that much. It’s a very accessible holiday.

And nobody had to get nailed to anything.

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