Why doesn’t the UK celebrate Thanksgiving? Are we not thankful for anything?



I’d like to start with wishing you and your family a happy thanksgiving. I hope that at this time, you’ll be happily full, warm in your home surrounded by your loved ones discussing all the ways you’ve felt/been thankful this year.

My approach to this blog post is very much the same as when I wrote about politics, unresearched and lacks any real information. But hey, I’m trying to learn more about the holidays through people and their experiences rather than whatever the internet has to offer me. It’s more fun that way don’t you think?

I woke up this morning knowing it was thanksgiving, for only one reason. The day after thanksgiving is black Friday (right?) and we actually do celebrate black Friday in the UK. My partner works in retail which means on the lead up to black Friday he is pretty much living at his workplace and I don’t see him much for the few days before, during, and after.

Ok so I never actually researched what Thanksgiving is, but I’ll give you a run down of what I think it is based off, of, the years and years of watching American TV shows and movies has taught me. The plan short version is, thanksgiving is basically pre-Christmas for Americans. It’s traditions, food, festivities are basically Christmas but not. The difference is the main thing you do is go around the table saying what you’re thankful for. Did I hit the nail on the head? Americans?

So if I have to get a little technical, I will now explain where I get a little confused but still, all this information/deduction comes from television. Is the story behind thanksgiving (I just remembered where I learned this from, The Addams family movie! I learned a lot about Thanksgiving from there). So basically thanksgiving is celebrated because it’s to commemorate the time, the pilgrims (they look like Amish people in my opinion) and the Indians (native Indians not the Asian kind) ‘broke bread’ which tells me, they made peace and decided to wave their white flags, their first steps to make peace was to share a meal together. Where I get confused is… there are so many stories that then go on to say that something bad happened at this dinner party? Like they then ate each other…or is this confusion just because I shouldn’t use horror movies as thanksgiving sources? Someone, please tell me if I’m right or wrong, I’m curious to hear other people’s takes on Thanksgiving.

So moving on, I did only Google thanksgiving once, that was to find out the date so I could have this blog post ready. From this Google search, I actually found that a few other countries celebrate thanksgiving too. Whilst the UK celebrate’s Black Friday (more to experience the carnage of retail therapy) we don’t actually celebrate Thanksgiving. My question is why don’t we?

Aren’t British people major fans of roast dinners? Like growing up we had roast dinners most Sundays, they have restaurants here dedicated to roast dinners. People go there even when it’s not Sundays? So you’d think that with another excuse to have another national holiday where we eat roast dinners, we’d grab that opportunity right?

Unfortunately, it hasn’t really stuck in our culture but I reckon if we give it another few years people will eventually cotton on.

In all truth though, I love to learn about different traditions around the world. We don’t have a holiday that replaces Thanksgiving unless you count Guy Fawkes night as one. When I put it into that context I totally understand the whole idea of why we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. American’s don’t celebrate Guy Fawkes because they never had someone called Guy try to blow up their Parliament. But I feel like to replace GF night, American’s have 4th of July and I really don’t know what that is about (is it independence day…I know so little about American History, Norbert and I took the Buzzfeed ‘could you pass the American citizenship test” and we failed…like really badly failed, luckily we’re both very happy to be in the UK so it’s not too devastating that we’d not be granted citizenship). This is where I get confused again.

Black Friday is upon us again, tomorrow I’ll be reading about the ridiculous things people have bitten another person for. People buying things they never thought they wanted or needed all because it’s 60% off, my gosh I love it. But still, my question remains. Why doesn’t the UK celebrate thanksgiving, or at least have our own? Everything about it, the food, the festivities, tradition, family, it also seems to run along very British favourites, why don’t we have a thanksgiving? Is the UK not thankful for anything?

All of that aside, I hope that you’ve had a wonderful day, no matter what you’ve done/ are doing, whoever you’re celebrating with, I hope that you’ve had the opportunity to reflect on the past year and found at least one thing you’re grateful for. I myself am grateful for being surrounded by so many wonderful people who make me feel lucky every day. I am humbled and blessed by the fantastic writers who take the time to help me with my blog, the wonderful readers (though there may be few of you, I am so thankful to have your support) who have listened to my stories and shared theirs with us. I am thankful for my loving partner who is the greatest companion and my family who I love with all of my heart.

Holidays like Thanksgiving (to me) is all about being able to share your love with those around you, being grateful for the small and big things and being able to pass that appreciation forward to make a difference to your fellow man. I know some people are thinking, but my gosh it’s been a tough year. Yes, it has been a tough year for you, but just know that that year is almost over, believe that next year is going to hold good and wonderful things for you and in order to ensure success and happiness next year you have to work hard to end this year on a good note. Time is so precious so appreciate every minute you have left in 2016.

Today on this wonderful day, take the time to soak in the splendour of being with your loved ones, what a wonderful time to be alive, I really mean that very honestly. The reason is because, despite the negativity and fear the world is facing right now, there comes exciting opportunities to discover and create. People will think of new ways to improve the quality of life, innovative solutions to complicated problems. I think the important thing to remember is rise or fall, as long as your country is standing together you’ll be able to figure out how to improve.

So I’m curious, whether or not you’re celebrating Thanksgiving, how did you spend your day? Who were you with? What did you do, but most importantly, off the top of your head, what are you most thankful for today?

Anyone partaking on the purge tomorrow…I mean Black Friday, please be safe, be respectful and if anyone finds a good deal on hair dryers, please send them to me, I lost my 10-year-old hair dryer (my favourite of all things) and I haven’t had the heart to replace it.

Even though thanksgiving may only be 1 day in the year but gratitude can be felt every day.

Always remember…

Do something to make your parents proud today, your kids proud someday but most importantly, you proud every day!

Peace and Love

Jessy x


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