Diane Becker, "Country Life"

Our daughter attends a university in England and says there are Black Friday and Thanksgiving celebrations there this week.

Restaurants in London offer turkey and mashed potatoes meals on the American Thanksgiving Day.

Stores also had Black Friday celebrations in Turkey when she lived there. What is going on with these countries using our American holidays?

What’s ironic is that Thanksgiving Day was first officially designated as a U.S. federal holiday in 1789. We had won our freedom from Great Britain not too long before that. Hello? That means the reason for an American Thanksgiving Day partially originated from being thankful for freedom from a country that is now using the same holiday.

Great Britain does have a Harvest Festival to celebrate good crops, but it’s not a great big holiday. Why are they suddenly embracing our Thanksgiving?

I SUSPECT it’s because it and other countries have noticed something really cool about the American Thanksgiving celebration.

The Friday after it brings about $6 billion of shopping into the US economy. It’s not the thanks giving part that they’re so interested in — it’s the national shopping day part on the day after. Harvest Festival isn’t worth getting into the car and going to the mall for. The American Thanksgiving Day and the following Black Friday is.

In Istanbul, they don’t do Thanksgiving or Christmas but they still celebrate Black Friday. Isn’t Black Friday an all-American kickoff to the holiday shopping season in America? It shouldn’t be allowed for a country to celebrate the whole Black Friday shopping weekend event and dismiss the holidays that come before and after it.

Aren’t even the citizens in these countries wondering why all these ads are stuffed in their mailboxes this time of year? Don’t they question why one Friday is determined to be a Black Friday compared to any other Friday on the calendar? Whatever the reason, there is 50% off all sweaters at the department store, and they’re going to load up.

AS FOR THE turkey and mashed potatoes they’re serving as a Thanksgiving meal in London, we can let them share that tradition.

Britons can’t claim to be part of the traditional celebration of the native Americans and Pilgrims, but then we’re not really sure the Pilgrims ate turkey for those first meals in America anyway. More than likely they had deer.

If restaurants in England want to order in some American-raised turkeys for their faux American Thanksgiving, that’s fine.

In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln asked that the last day of Thursday be officially recognized as a day of thanksgiving. In 1941, Congress passed legislation establishing the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.

We’re glad that countries around the world take time to be thankful for their blessings but, just for the record, Thanksgiving Day is 100% American, and we claim Black Friday, too.

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