The Yummish High Holy Season is almost upon us and the Yummish faithful are busy with preparations. Homes and temples are being decorated according to tradition, with ritual candles and other symbols of the season. Great stores of goods are being laid in for the sacramental feasts. Scholars debate the finer points of the rites – Lard? Butter? Crisco? The whole Yummish world is focused on the great day – Thanksgiving.
The Yummish celebrate many holidays throughout the year. As spontaneously realized holidays are not only permitted but encouraged, and birthday celebrations mandatory, there are generally many Yummish holidays being celebrated on each day of the year. In addition to all of these, the Yummish recognize two Most Holy Days – Bonding Day (February 14) and Thanksgiving. Bonding Day is the day in which we celebrate the bonds between ourselves and those who share our Yum and is the most sacred of all Yummish holidays. Thanksgiving is second only to Bonding Day in importance.
The Thanksgiving holiday is common to many religions, to which the Yummish Council says “groovy tunes.” That so many faiths agree that it is important to take a day to play and feast is to us affirmation of the Yummish nature of all mankind. That it is held on a Thursday and can generally be parlayed into a 4 day weekend is proof of the power of the YUM at work in the universe.
The rituals of the Thanksgiving holiday are more narrowly prescribed than those of the other Yummish holidays, especially Bonding Day, where creativity and customization is at the core. At the center of the Yummish Thanksgiving is a celebration of “home” and so the rituals must be observed in a homely environment. This can be your actual home or the home of someone close to you. If you are traveling, your hotel/motel/hostel/RV/tent/etc. is an acceptable ritual space, provided the purpose of the travel is Yummish in nature. (i.e. Being stuck in a hotel on business travel on the holidays is in no way Yummy. Being stuck in a hotel in Disney World on Thanksgiving has better Yummish potential.)
The Yummish Thanksgiving is very food-centric. It is not enough to have one big, gut-buster of a meal in the middle of the day on a random weekday. A properly planned Yummish feast begins first thing in the morning on Thursday, peaks that evening and tapers off about three days later. No opportunity for gluttony should be ignored, no avenue for self-indulgence left unfulfilled. Each meal, each snack is a devotional act, a moment of grateful appreciation of the best our lives have to offer us. Ensconced in a homely environment, the proverbial larder full of the most tempting treats to be had, it is not hard to conjure a grateful spirit.
As with most Thanksgiving celebrations there is a traditional meal that is the focus of the Yummish Thanksgiving. The content of the meal is unimportant, but focusing on those foods that are biologically and culturally unique to your homely environment is generally a good idea. Whatever the meal, it should be a “favorite” meal, a treat. The meal should also consist of the best quality of these foods available to you and the quantity to should be somewhere between “plentiful” and “that's just plain ridiculous.” As with all officially sanctioned Yummish feasts, dessert is obligatory and the sacramental imbibing of spirits encouraged.
Some of the Yummish Council feel that there should be a mandatory “homemade” aspect to the feast. The more orthodox feel that, at the very least, the main Thursday meal should be prepared by hand from ingredients as fresh and natural as possible. A small but vocal minority insists that at least one ingredient of the meal should be cultivated entirely by the devotees – garden grown herbs or even hand-raised poultry – in recognition of the circle of life, looking for the bare necessities of life, and that a dream is a wish your heart makes. (We have since cut back on his TV time and that seems to be working well.) Others say that at least one handcrafted aspect is required for the meal, but it is not necessary to create the entire feast from the soil up. Since the debate is as yet unsettled, the Council's official stance is that a homemade contribution is strongly recommended, but not mandatory.
Feasting is central to the Yummish Thanksgiving, but “play”is nearly as important. No doubt you have noticed the special weekday football games that are televised on Thanksgiving day – further proof of the creeping influence of the Yummish faith. Your options for play are not limited to watching televised sports, though they do provide handy entertainment between course preparations. Again, the Yummish Council has no official definition for “play,” only that it be in keeping with the general principle of “fun” and recommends that for this aspect of the ritual the faithful should follow their Yum.
Ideally the Yummish Thanksgiving lasts from Thursday to Sunday. We Yummish feel that there are enough things in life to be thankful for that you need at least four days to properly appreciate them all. If you find yourself forced into an un-Yummish situation during this time, i.e., work, it is important to remember that your Yum is not diminished, though your employers' Yum may be. Some Yummish even find themselves in the unenviable position of having to work in a retail environment on that blackest of Fridays. If you should find yourself in this anti-Yummish situation, please know that the Yummish Council will be spending the day shut away in deep meditation, interceding with the YUM on your behalf. ('Cuz we sure as shootin' ain't goin' to the mall...)
If you have not yet begun your preparations for this most important of Yummish holidays, I encourage you to do so now. It is not possible to be too prepared and there is so much to do. The right wine must be selected, which means you should be trying a different bottle each evening until that onerous task is complete. Pies and baked goods are very important to the feast, so if you are not sampling from at least one bakery each day you are woefully behind. It is also advisable to increase the amount you eat each day between now and the feast in order to prepare your body for the challenge of gluttony it faces. There are challenges, to be sure, but with proper planning and mindful dedication to the pursuit of the YUM you can enjoy the rewards of celebrating a traditional Yummish Thanksgiving
Today's Yummish Exercise:
Begin preparations for your Yummish Thanksgiving.
Next: Consecrating Your Yummish Temple