thanksgiving and other holidays

I recently read an article that claimed that people who worked at home were more efficient.  Apparently studies suggest workers waste a lot of time socializing with co-workers.

Well, maybe. As someone who works at home (a writer !) I am not so sure that article is correct. When I write early in the morning, I am uninterrupted. Later in the day, interruptions come fast and furious – anything from phone calls to mail to my husband. And I have found the interruptions even more constant with the beginning of the holidays.

We had 16 guests for a total of 18 people; 9 adults and 9 kids. (I won’t describe the ruin of my basement.) Prep and purchasing Christmas presents for family members who won’t be with us for that occasion, have absorbed at least a month.

Some of the dinner conversation concerned shopping on Thanksgiving itself, whether the store should open or not. Pretty much everyone agreed that it was terrible and no one planned to shop. They couldn’t anyway, since they were at my house, and the final guest left at 9:30 pm.

That sparked my interest in Thanksgiving. I mean, everyone knows the story about the Pilgrims and the Indians who came to the first Thanksgiving. I always believed this holiday continued on in an unbroken line since 1621. Well, not so much.  Until the time of Lincoln, Thanksgiving’s date varied depending upon the state. And some states did not observe it at all. The final Thursday in November did not become the usual date until the 1800’s. President Lincoln declared by proclamation that all states should observe Thanksgiving on the same date in 1863.  Since this was during the Civil War, I would guess many of the Southern states elected not to comply.

Anyway, during the later third of the 19th century, the final Thursday in November became Thanksgiving. Ah, but we celebrate it the fourth Thursday. Yes, we do. Franklin Roosevelt changed the date in 1941 in an effort to give the economy a boost. He thought the extra time before Christmas might give people more time to shop.

I wonder what he would think of this most recent change.


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