Children may enjoy watching the Macy’s parade or look forward to pumpkin pie. But Thanksgiving activities aren’t centered on kids. There are no candies to collect, gifts to unwrap or eggs to hunt. There’s no staying up past bedtime for fireworks or Santa or the ball-drop in Times Square...
The symbolism of Thanksgiving, too, distinguishes it as a holiday geared toward older relatives. Rather than a baby in a manger, or baby Cupids, or baby chicks, Thanksgiving prompts us to think about the Pilgrims...
...the day tends to be calmer than the gift-giving frenzy to follow in December, and all the candy-colored, children-centered customs of Halloween, Valentine’s Day and Easter.Among other points, Santino notes that children are generally segregated from the adults at the Thanksgiving dinner table, and "graduate" to the adult table as they get older. ("...being thankful is really a grown-up value. Only as we grow older does our appreciation deepen.") He also believes that "the adult focus of Thanksgiving has also helped it resist consumerism" -- the rise of Black Friday shopping aside -- although, as he notes, there has been some significant pushback in recent years against Black Friday and particularly how its tentacles have started to creep into Thanksgiving Day itself.
But while Thanksgiving may not be quite the kid-fest that Christmas & Easter & Halloween are (or have become in recent years), I still sense there is a focus on family and bringing the family together that can make it uncomfortable or downright difficult for those who didn't grow up in a Norman Rockwell-style family, or who have failed to conform to the family norms in some way (e.g., by producing children of their own).
I would say Canadian Thanksgiving in October is similar in not being a particularly kid-focused holiday -- although there are certainly critical differences between the two events (beyond the timing). Thanksgiving in Canada is generally not the big deal that it is in the States. There are no Thanksgiving parades in Canada, no references to the Pilgrims (they had/have nothing to do with our celebration here), and you generally do not hear about people moving hell & high water to get home for Canadian Thanksgiving (if anything, that would be Christmas).
Anyway -- what do you think?
(And -- a propos of nothing -- with this post, and with five weeks left to go in 2014, I've surpassed the number of posts I published in all of 2013! Unemployment/early retirement has obviously helped my productivity, at least on the blogging front, lol.)