The JW prohibition of celebrating holidays includes the American celebration of Thanksgiving, a sort of innocuous harvest festival, where thanks is given for the year's blessings. A typical family eats a large meal together, including turkey and all the trimmings. In recent decades, NFL football, always involving the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions, has become part of the routine, as well as drinking beer.
Every year or so, the "Awake!" would run an article denouncing Thanksgiving as "worldly,," sometimes making fun of the supposed original meal featuring the pilgrims and Native Americans.
My extended family, almost entirely made up of JWs, actually celebrated Thanksgiving every year without admitting it.
As my uncle Russ, a former Zone Servant, old old term for Circuit Overseer, would say every year: "Turkey is cheap and we have a day off, so why not get together for a meal?"
My uncle Gene, who never set foot in a Kingdom Hall, after getting out of prison during World War II for not serving in the military, and his Catholic wife, Ann, were always the host family. Ann made a huge spread, including certain favorite dishes for several JW relatives.
My anointed grandfather, Adolph, would be asked to say "grace" over the meal.
After the meal, Uncle Gene would light up a cigar, while fending off any attempt by any of his guests to witness to him.
I continued the tradition with my own family, sometimes eating turkey a day early to soothe out consciences.
Our pretense of not celebrating Thanksgiving like everyone else was phony, but typical of the kind of rationalizations JWs make to get around organizational rules and beliefs.