Letter: Thankful

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Sir: As an American, I feel compelled to set the record straight on Thanksgiving, which John O'Farrell characterises as just another commercialised holiday ("Let's give thanks we don't yet have Thanksgiving", 25 November).

The beauty of Thanksgiving is that it has never been about spending money. On Thanksgiving, there's no need to shop for gifts, send cards, dress up in costume, or even decorate the house. All that is required is a turkey, some sweet potatoes, a bag of cranberries, and a few tins of pumpkin for the pies.

What makes Thanksgiving such a glorious holiday is that it is the time of year when Americans make the greatest effort simply to be with their families. Thanksgiving is simply about taking time off work and school, preparing and eating good food, and perhaps enjoying a few American football games in the company of one's nearest and dearest.

In any case, I would never suggest that the British celebrate Thanksgiving, any more than I would expect Americans to celebrate Bonfire Night; both are, in essence, national holidays.


President, American Women in South Wales