After taking part in the annual American holiday of overeating known as Thanksgiving, I was left to ponder what should come next. I am not an avid shopper, so venturing out in the wee hours of the morning in search of those Black Friday deals was not on my agenda. I thought about the holidays, what they mean, and how we interpret those meanings into our actual deeds.
Christmas Eve is celebrated as a ramp up to the big day where everyone sheds their materialistic needs and selfish wants (yeah, that’s the ticket). Christmas Day is spent unwrapping presents, acting like you appreciate that present, and then asking for the gift receipt so you can go get what you actually want. The day after Christmas in the U.K. is known as Boxing Day. Boxing Day is a bank holiday that is used by our British counterparts to give gifts to the needy and people in the service industry. They also spend the day drinking beer and watching football (in America, we call that Sunday).
I thought about the tradition of Thanksgiving from the vantage point of the settlers. They gave thanks for the sustenance provided by the Native Americans for that ceremonial meal, and the farming advice that led to the settlers’ subsequent self sustainability. I doubt the Pilgrims would have used the fish they caught for anything other than that night’s meal. Without the expert tutelage of their “heathen” neighbors, they would never have known to use those scaled water dwellers as fertilizer for the sandy soil that was quickly becoming the bane of their New World existence. For that, they were eternally thankful, and to this day we celebrate by overeating and graciously saying “thanks.”
I quickly turned my mind’s eye to the vantage point of the Native Americans. What did they get out of that deal? The white man’s thanks were short lived. Yes, we assisted in a couple of slaughters of a common enemy (the partnership between Jamestown and Powatan that led to the attacks on the Monacan tribe), they allowed Pocahontas to marry John Rolfe (but only after she converted to Christianity and was baptized), and we even gave them back small pieces of their own land where they could live in peace, harmony, and poker tables.
I came up with the idea for the Native Americans to institute their own Holiday. It would occur the day after Thanksgiving each year. They could call it “You’re Welcomesgiving.” The premise would be simple and to the point. Those who choose to participate would make an effort to approach those who they had done favors for, tell them specifically what they had done for them, and follow it up with an immediate and snarky-toned “You’re welcome!”
Descendents of Powhatan could ceremonially start the flow each year by saying, “Good morning, and you’re welcome for all the fish.” The tradition to continue to pay the passive-aggressive comments forward with, “Oh yes, the fish in the soil bit. Yes, that was nice. However, do you remember the guns and ammo we gave you for smiting your enemies? You’re welcome!”
It would grow in popularity and would quickly gain momentum among the ranks of sarcastic and ironic people. You would hear about the vast lands that they gave up to the organized government in exchange for the beautiful reservations they have today followed by a peevish “You’re welcome!”
Being equally as petulant and unwilling to let themselves be bested, a descendant of John Smith might offer a retort of, “Indeed, thank you for that. And we shared our most prized possession with you and many of your people. Or have you forgotten about the plague? You’re welcome!”
There is an endless amount of fodder, and could go without repeat for many years. However, it must evolve into something in which the masses could partake. It could be opened up to anything and anyone.
Imagine working the day after Thanksgiving, but only because your coworker absolutely had to have the day off when that project was almost finished. You could call them at home while they were enjoying time with their family just to remind them of who made that possible.
I can hear it now, “Oh hey, so I’m sorry to be calling so early. Were you still sleeping? Well, I just wanted to let you know that I am here at the office working diligently on that project that WE need finished before the weekend. Don’t worry about it, I’ve got it under control. You enjoy your day off with your family and friends. And by the way, you’re welcome!”
It has an endless amount of possibilities. Women who only get a call from their kids on Christmas and Mother’s Day can pick up the phone and say “you’re welcome” for giving their ungrateful kids food and shelter for the first 18 years of their life. Wives can call their husbands and give a laundry list of “you’re welcomes” (up to, and including doing their laundry). Bosses can send out mass texts for those paychecks they sign and deposit every other week. Employees can respond by expressing their acceptance of praise for wage freezes or productivity increases. Governments can go on TV to issue a nationwide “you’re welcome!” for streets, police, homeland defense, healthcare, and other assorted infrastructure. The people can call and leave voice mail messages for their congresspeople articulating the appreciation they accept for the tax money they so willingly allow the government to deduct from their paychecks to help support the perfectly balanced budgets and all-inclusive spending practices they so expertly oversee.
I could even foresee You’re Welcomesgiving carols being sung in the streets or recorded by opportunistic singer-songwriters. I think it would go a little like this:
Imagine all the “you’re welcomes.” I wonder if you can.
No need for “thank you” or “gracias.” From a woman or a man.
Imagine all the people, snarky and disagreeable.
You may say that I’m evil, but I’m not the only one.
I hope this holiday will catch on, and I can say “you’re welcome!”