So when does the Holiday Season begin?
For me it starts with Halloween, (The Gay holiday!)
OK, so it's not officially the Gay holiday. It's a good kick start though.
The Holiday season for most folks begins with one of my favorite meat eating holidays, Thanksgiving. It's a time when I see and get e-mails wishing me a Happy Thanksgiving. But I can't help but remember that for American Indians this isn't exactly the message there want to hear.
From what I have heard from American Indians is that for some American Indian tribes it's a time of mourning. There are politically "progressive", "radical", "Leftist" etc... folk who boycott the holiday or have days of silence. Although it's intended to show solidarity to me it seems divisive.
My day of remembrance/silence comes the day before Thanksgiving Day. This I do between my two thanksgiving observances. One the week before with the "adopted" family, and friends. And then time with the biological family on the official holiday.
This has been my policy since the late 1900's when me and the local punk rockers had our first Thanks giving Punk Pot Luck. Rethinking and adapting a holiday seems more practical in making it meaningful.
A couple of years back I listed to an American Indian women comment on Thanksgiving.
She approved of the holiday because she felt we should always be "...in a state of thanksgiving."
She then explained that for her people when the whales returned from there migrations it was a time of thanks giving, as well as when certain flowers bloomed.
For me it's seeing the Queen Ann's Lace blooming that has me recognizing that Summers peak has arrived.
Even though it's hot and sunny the days are growing shorter. I may not have noticed but the Queen Ann's Lace has and is preparing by blooming to put out seeds. It leads me to feeling grateful for what's left of the Summer.
One other theme of Thanksgiving is to be charitable and to feed those who are lacking. Times are tough for most folks it seems but for those who can contribute here's a list of American Indian charities I found.
This to me is also a way of expressing solidarity.
To either contribute or to "just" spread the word.
American Indian College Fund
Southwest Indian Relief Council
Sioux Nation Relief Fund
Navajo Relief Fund
National Relief Charities
Native American AID
Council of Indian Nations
American Indian Relief Council