thankful? Oh yes, I bloody well am

Friday, 23 November 2012


I know Thanksgiving is not a time to have a whinge - but please indulge me for just a moment.

I'm a huge believer that being thankful for our lives and showing consistent gratitude is key to living a happier life. I also know I'm Australian and therefore do NOT celebrate Thanksgiving. HOWEVER . . .

Today on Facebook, I responded to a prompt to say what I was thankful for. A Debbie Downer very quickly posted she was sick and tired of adopting too many 'American' traditions and would therefore NOT partake in offering a thankful comment, thankyouverymuch.

???

Has she totally missed the point here?

And just what 'American' traditions have we taken on in Australia? I am MIGHTY sick of the crotchety old humbugs in this country who whinge and moan about Halloween gradually infiltrating this country whilst simultaneously expressing anti-American sentiments. I'll say it again - Halloween is NOT an American tradition; it is a European tradition - a place from whence a very large slice of the Australian population descended. It is also yet another commercial opportunity to make a buck - so if you have a bone to pick with kids dressing up and eating lollies - then please hammer the retail sector, not the Americans.

En plus - since when are we a country that poo-poos the traditions of other countries? Since when don't Australians celebrate our diversity, our incredible multicultural heritage and rich and varied cultures?

We are renowned, worldwide, for being the ultimate model of success when it comes to multicultural, peaceful integration. I am monumentally proud of this achievement - and for such a young country, the {overall} racial harmony we live under is truly stuff of Soul Advancement. Sure, there's always going to be a moron or two who screw it up for everyone, but thankfully morons are usually people of low intelligence, who have the impact of a mosquito bite when all is said and done.

True Freedom from Morons is found within, is it not?

So. No - I do not host a Thanksgiving Day here in Australia but I have to go on record by saying that I think EVERY country should have a Thanksgiving Day. It has nothing to do with America and has everything to do with understanding the incredible power of being grateful. I think Australians are in real danger of becoming complacent when it comes to fully appreciating how fortunate we are. We are not war-torn, we have an incredible medical support system, we enjoy a natural landscape of unique beauty with phenomenal weather - and we enjoy a heart-pounding blend of multicultural differences that can enrich our lives beyond belief.

Poo-poo Halloween and Thanksgiving? Then take down that German Christmas tree. DO NOT, by any means, drink green beer at the pub on 17 March. Go to work on Boxing Day of European Origin. Ditto Shrove Tuesday. Whatever you do, avoid any kind of egg made of chocolate. Are you getting my drift here? Are we not MADE UP of Other Places? All of us? Even Americans?? Why segregate us into Us and Them? Are we not all Earthlings?

Life - to me - is all about celebrating the everyday joys, the differences, the traditions and joys of the WORLD. I would curl up and die if I couldn't enjoy the mind-bending beauty of Other Places and Other People. Our planet is so tiny now - do not forget this 'infiltration' of American culture - or any other culture - is imagined. We are just more exposed to it via our closeness, our instant connection. How fortunate we are to have this. It shouldn't threaten us. We don't have to lose our Australianess to enjoy the riches of other cultures - indeed - the true richness of this country, that which some people strive so hard {and so moronically} to shun, can absolutely be found in the divine history of its Indigenous people and its introduced people.

I TOTALLY celebrate this.

So - happy Thanksgiving to all our American friends - and to anyone else who loves to be thankful. If you do not fall into these two categories, then you absolutely have the freedom to click away. How lucky are you? I hope you're thankful for it.

Today I am thankful for:
  • our freedom 
  • our stunning weather
  • my family's health
  • my divine friends and colleagues 
  • the ability to travel where I want, when I want
  • tradition
  • iceberg roses in my garden
  • multiculturalism
  • advanced souls
  • the power to click

Footnote: In light of the content of this post, and due to the unfortunate fact that morons don't seem to be able to read {nor comprehend} very well and seem to spend their spare time hunting down ways to be moronic, Moronic Comments will not be approved {and more to the point will NOT affect me - as morons so deeply hope they will}. You have no power here. Be gone! lest a house falls on you, too.

11 comments:

Susan Whelan said...

*standing ovation*

Well said, Tanya.

I don't celebrate Halloween because I hate the way it is marketed and I'm not keen on handing out lollies to kids i never see any other day of the year. I don't do Valentine's Day because of the marketing either. As for Thanksgiving, like Valentine's Day I don't celebrate it because I think we should be thankful, and acknowledge those we love, every day of the year.

I agree that's it's time to stop the Us/Them mentality and acknowledge that our lives are richer, deeper and more amazing because we have the opportunity to experience the cultures of the world so easily now.

Chantelle {fat mum slim} said...

Bravo.

sheryl g said...

I agree with what Susan says. I don't celebrate Halloween (even with my ancient Celtic heritage) nor Valentine, mostly because of the crass commercialism.

I wouldn't give sweets to strange kids roaming the neighbourhood (most without parents chaperoning too!) mainly because I don't like this 'gimme gimme' attitude many kids have.

But like you dear Tanya, I give thanks every day for our beautiful, ancient, intriguing, fabulous Australia. I give thanks for beloved family and friends (including you), and the freedoms we have, unlike so many other places on earth.

Most people here, I suspect, never think about this fact, esp those who won't think beyond their own fenceline, mentally and physically. More of the gimme gimme culture perhaps?

Lovely to read your rave, Taz! We all need to do that occasionally.

Tania McCartney said...

Thank you - intelligent, worldly, fabulous people who can read and comprehend! Thank you for seeing my point so clearly.

I'm also jack of the gimme-attitude and the commercialisation and while I don't normally directly celebrate any of the festivals you've mentioned, I do like them - not because I can buy something, though - because I love the festivity and tradition. For example, I will often leave a love note in my kids' school bags on Valentine's Day or have chocolate cake for them when they get home - but that's about it. Hallmark don't earn a cent from me.

Halloween - I don't mind giving some candy if kids drop by but 9 times out of 10, they don't, and if they do, they're neighbourhood kids I know, just having a bit of fun. I don't mind.

Husband stopped giving me Valentine's Day flowers a long time ago and I can't say I mind! I much much MUCH prefer the times he comes home with flowers 'just because'.

:)

Dani said...

Here...Here. Life is about having a bloody lot of fun! (And if it's not then perhaps it should be). Does it bring a smile to my kids faces to dress up? You bet it does. THAT is more important to me that standing on my soapbox and vetoing a harmless tradition. Living here in Vietnam we celebrate all sorts of diverse cultures and traditions that the kids are exposed to going to an international school. Never had one person say to me yet that this was bad for them but loads saying what an amazing opportunity it is. Why should they only get this experience when living off shore? Here's to heading down to Footscray and celebrating Tet upon our return!

Tania McCartney said...

Love it, Dan. We had a BALL celebrating many different festivals during our time in China {including Halloween, actually! my goodness, that was HOOT!} and I was so intent on continuing to enjoy those festivals upon returning home. Maybe I have a celebration fetish? Maybe I just love tradition and life celebrations too much and want to jump on EVERYONE's bandwagon tradition!?

Dani said...

....and I ADORE that photo!

Jennifer Bates said...

Hi Tanya, I too am grateful to live in Australia. I travel around the world every year as I have a home also in Romania and spend a few months there each summer. I've visited many countries and enjoy seeing them celebrate their customs and traditions.

There are so many countries around the world who are in turmoil, either with war, famine or in financial crisis. When I get home here to Perth, I tell my family and friends, what a great country we live in. Sometimes, I don't think a lot of people, young and old, appreciate the freedom and beauty of this country.

Sandy Fussell said...

Yay to you. We organise Halloween in our street. We see it as an excellent way to integrate neighbours and promote 'community' - the older oneighbours love being visited by children in costumes. Parents go with all the little ones. It's very safe because the street is crowded - full of parents and kids. Drivers are reminded a few days in advance. Signs are provided for mailboxes so 'trick or treaters' don't bother those who don' t want to be involved. If you want to eat dinner in peace or run out of wrapped lollies - you just take the sign down. Sure Halloween, like all other traditional holidays, has been commercialised - but each individual can choose how commercialised they allow it to become in their life - and too many lollies? Not if managed - no different to Easter or showbags. We have heaps of fun and my family now know all their neighbours whereas before the kids never spoke to many of them. And as for an occasion to be thankful - bring it on I say - who cares what country it comes from. I don't want to eat turkey but I certainly want to celebrate being thankful. Some values are worldwide and if the day itself is specific to a particular country - what's the problem with that!

Tania McCartney said...

So agree with you, Sandy! xx

tiarastantrums said...

As an American - I love this post! I would like to point out that most Americans are actually not from this continent. Our past was once firmly planted in Europe (if you recall history {not you Tania} we escaped religious persecution from Europe). The USA is SO diverse today - it is amazing! The changes in this country over the past 10 years is astounding. There are holidays celebrated for many {MANY} nations that were once called home. That is something to be thankful for.

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