Ginnie Graham: Taking a stand for a forgotten holiday
BY GINNIE GRAHAM World Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
11/21/12 at 3:35 AM
The day after Halloween, Greg Thatcher put up his Thanksgiving lawn display of plywood turkeys as his neighbor strung Christmas lights.
"I was the odd man out here," he said, cracking a smile.
Driving by the Thatcher home in south Tulsa, the tableau shows kid-friendly, illustrated turkeys outwitting Pilgrims before the feast.
The cutouts of cornucopias, pumpkins and acorns line the driveway, and a "Give Thanks" signs reminds of this very American holiday.
"I want people to enjoy it," Thatcher said. "Every day or at least every other day someone out walking or driving by will stop and tell us they love the decorations and thank us."
The Thatchers are not just a rarity on their street but also citywide and, likely, nationwide.
"When we were looking for some Halloween decorations, we were seeing stores with Christmas out," Thatcher said. "It's like people get through with Halloween and think, 'We need to start getting gifts.'
"Thanksgiving has become the forgotten holiday. That's why we like to do this and enjoy it."
This is not new. Even Charlie Brown in his 1965 special bemoaned the commercialization of the Christmas holiday.
What is new is the chipping away of the actual day meant for giving thanks.
Stores caving into the Christmas buying frenzy by opening Thanksgiving Day cheapen the spirit of both holidays.
A social revival: As retailers are setting one trend, social media is serving up another.
After costumes were put away, postings started appearing to give thanks each day.
There were the expected ones - family, health, employment, children and friends. A few surprises popped in there:
"I'm thankful that my children don't act this way ALL the time!!! Yup, that's about all I can come up with today," from a high school friend.
"Thankful that for today, I can accept things I can't change," said another friend.
Even on bad days when my socks didn't match, those thoughts stopped me for a few seconds to ponder the things going right.
Thanksgiving takes no sides: Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but we have no Norman Rockwell moment.
We eat scattered at different tables, sometimes using plastic plates or cups. We'll watch football, go bowling or see a movie.
The dinner is a group potluck effort and is always fantastic.
It's a bipartisan holiday free of gift-giving and a dress requirement.
It's a time to share a hug, a laugh and a story.
It's a day for mending fences and celebrating our lives together.
Design your own decor: Thatcher made his first Thanksgiving yard sign in 2005. The items are homemade, in part because he couldn't find anything in stores.
The Thanksgiving celebration continues throughout the Thatcher home.
A "Happy Thanksgiving" banner welcomes guests, and holiday pieces dot the nooks, crannies and shelves.
"Growing up, Thanksgiving was important just like the other holidays," Thatcher said. "All the decorations stayed up until it was over."
He already has plans for Friday.
"While everyone will be fighting for Black Friday sales," he said, "I'll be right here, decorating for Christmas."
Original Print Headline: Taking a stand for a forgotten holiday
Greg and Heather Thatcher sit with the Thanksgiving decor outside their Tulsa home. The items are homemade, in part, because few Thanksgiving decorations can be found in stores. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World