FROM TC: I'm taking the next few days off from You've Cott Mail during the Thanksgiving break in America, returning to your email inbox next week. In the meantime, I may post a few items on the YCM Twitter feed. To all my readers in the U.S., have a safe and happy holiday.
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NYC arts & culture center organizes a new national tradition: "Giving Tuesday"
Theresa Agovino, Crains New York Business, 11/20/21
Black Friday and Cyber Monday have become rituals of the holiday shopping season. This year, however, marks the advent of Giving Tuesday, a campaign organized by the 92nd Street Y to encourage people to do more with their money than just shop. On Tuesday, Nov. 27, roughly 1,500 charities, foundations and for-profit companies including the Red Cross and Microsoft will promote the idea of donating money and time to worthy causes. The Y hopes the idea will catch on and become part of the holiday tradition. "We want to create a movement," said Sol Adler, executive director of the 92nd Street Y, a nonprofit community and cultural center. Mr. Adler said the Y came up with the idea while helping its partners form individual campaigns to celebrate the idea of charity. The group then created a logo to brand the event. The participating organizations are promoting the event individually, but all will carry the logo and message of Giving Tuesday.
Commentary: Things to be thankful for, technology edition
Chris Taylor, Mashable.com, 11/20/12
I'm thankful that we get to live in a golden age where every piece of knowledge you can imagine, the greatest library in history, is available at all times to everyone. I'm thankful that roughly 50% of this country now carries supercomputers everywhere, and that we don't even think it's a big deal any more. I'm thankful that I have creative tools in my pocket that would make Leonardo da Vinci weep, and I'm thankful that I occasionally have the wit to use them, rather than just sitting back and letting the content come to me. I'm thankful for Instagram, and for the fact that there are a million artfully filtered pictures of everyone's turkey dinner being posted to phones across America. I'm thankful for e-books. I'm thankful for the fact that I'm reading more than ever because of them, despite the naysayers who claim technology is dumbing us down. I'm thankful that artists have so many channels to distribute their content without the middlemen, so those middlemen can go off and become artists themselves. I'm thankful that when I think of a song, any song, I can be listening to it seconds later. I'm thankful that everyone gets to be a DJ now. Well, sometimes I'm not thankful for that. I may even still be thankful for Gangnam Style, though ask me again in a few months.
Commentary: The best Thanksgiving songs - and the turkeys you should avoid
Kevin Fallon, The Daily Beast, 11/21/12
Christmastime brings an infinite catalog of carols. The Fourth of July boasts a proud number of patriotic songs. [But] when it comes to [Thanksgiving,] it's slim pickings. Here's a rundown:
1. 'It's Thanksgiving' by Nicole Westbrook: It's the dance floor-ready ode to Turkey Day that you never wanted. From the auditory assailants behind Rebecca Black's reviled viral sensation, "Friday," comes [this] song from [a] 12-year-old aspiring starlet.
2. 'The Thanksgiving Song' by Adam Sandler: It's not packed with quite as much wit as his endearingly un-PC ode to Hanukkah, but [this] is as close to a classic as we have.
3. 'Turkey Lurkey Time' from Promises, Promises: Technically the Act I finale from the 1968 Broadway [show] is set at an office Christmas party. But musical theater nerds have been co-opting it as a Thanksgiving tune for decades.
4. 'Thanksgiving Song' by Mary Chapin Carpenter: Like aural tryptophan, a bland buffet of syrupy lyrics and flat melodies.
5. 'Macy's Day Parade' by Green Day: Credit Green Day with seizing on one of Thanksgiving's most celebrated traditions. But why so blue, Billie Joe? The raucous energy [of] the Thanksgiving Day parade is completely absent from the moody song.
6. 'The Thanksgiving Filter' by Drive-By Truckers: [This] 2010 deep cut astutely captures the lunacy of the family gathering.
7. 'Thanksgiving Theme' by Vince Guaraldi Trio: The theme from the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special may not instantly raise the hairs on your skin [like the music from] A Charlie Brown Christmas. But as background music to your family's noshing, you certainly could do worse.
8. 'We Gather Together' by Theodore Baker: Singing it surfaces traumatic memories of being forced to perform it in front of your parents at Mrs. Donnelly's preschool class. But [it] is more than 400 years old, and its simple message -- we are blessed to be here enjoying this meal together -- is pure enough to defy snark. Almost.
Commentary: We have a writer to thank for the Thanksgiving holiday Daven Hiskey, Mental Floss blog, 11/20/12
Despite what you might have learned in school, the Pilgrims did not celebrate the first Thanksgiving in America. In fact, the event often cited as the first Thanksgiving ever wasn't even the Pilgrims' first Thanksgiving -- they had several before then. Around the time [they] came to America in 1620, it was common in England and many parts of Europe to set aside days for giving thanks to God. In the New World, this practice remained fairly common up until the time Thanksgiving became a national holiday in 1863. So why is the fall 1621 Pilgrim Thanksgiving often considered the very first? This is largely thanks to Sarah Josepha Hale, one of the most influential women in American history (one of her most famous works is the nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb," published in 1830). She was enamored with the Pilgrim event she had read about in William Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation, and loved the Thanksgiving tradition, which was somewhat common in New England at the time. She tirelessly campaigned for over 20 years to have Thanksgiving become a national holiday with a set date. (Prior to that, states celebrated when they wished, usually between October and January.) Her highly circulated editorials are why we view the Pilgrim's 1621 Thanksgiving as the first. She also gets credit for many of the traditions we attribute to [the holiday] even though there are only two brief passages that record what happened during the celebration in the fall of 1621. Things like eating turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving were all popularized by Hale; it is extremely unlikely the Pilgrims actually ate any of those things.