The Fall of a Thanksgiving Tradition
The Fall of a Thanksgiving Tradition
Written By Mark Elfstrand, Cultural Affairs Writer   |   11.09.23
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Ahhh…the scenes and smells of the fall season in the Midwest are here.

Leaf collection and burning — where allowed. Crisp morning air with men still wearing shorts who refuse to believe summer has ended.

Pumpkin everything has arrived, including several variations of pumpkin lattes at Starbucks.

The Thanksgiving holiday is rapidly coming together. Grocery stores are stocking up with all the essentials of the typical Thanksgiving meal: turkey, stuffing, green beans, sweet and mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, pumpkin pie and whipped cream. Tasty appetizers like cold shrimp. (Okay, so I only named my favorites.)

Every family has their own traditions. Growing up, we often gathered with three other relatives’ families. My mother made her special dishes, as did others. Today, we do a variation of the same with our daughter’s family and the in-laws. (A favorite is my wife’s strawberry pretzel salad.)

Before the meal, whether overheard or watched more intently, is the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. It’s part of the tradition. With modern video recording options, our turkey day has two “musts”…the Thanksgiving day parade and football.

This year will be different.

The gremlins in charge of parade production have determined most Americans want something a bit “woke.” Breitbart News shared recently that the beloved annual parade will include “non-binary” actors from two Broadway shows — “& Juliet” and “Shucked.” Surprised? I’m sure both will get plenty of TV time.

As to “& Juliet,” Shakespeare would possibly have put his own spear into this ripoff production.

As shared by the theater-related site, the production takes us through the imaginary story of what Juliet’s life might have been like had she not committed suicide at the end of the story. Breitbart tells us the Thanksgiving parade will include actor Justin David Sullivan who identifies as “non-binary.” He plays the role of “May,” a non-binary friend of Juliet.

Also on our small screens (or giant as they have become) during the parade will be Tony award-winner Alex Newell. He/She/They was featured in the Broadway show Shucked. A biological male, his Tony award this year was for his performance in the female role of Lulu. Breitbart claims

“Newell has worn women’s clothes in recent public appearances, and dressed in a shimmering gold ball gown for the Tonys.”


The Thanksgiving Day Parade woke envelope has been pushed before. As reported by The Atlantic, in 2020, the Lesbian & Gay Big Apple Corps became the first “openly LGBTQ group to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.”

And Breitbart noted that in 2021, transgender pop star Kim Petras performed during the parade, marking the annual event’s first-ever transgender “celebrity.”

My wife will turn a blind eye to the parade this year. How sad. By mixing that which lacks good taste into the parade menu, organizers may likely send many viewers packing. Or to do some on-line shopping as they self-gift with the pre-Black Friday shopping spree.

Woke productions do have their issues. Take the supposedly heralded upcoming release of the “new and improved version” of Disney’s Snow White. Set to come out early next year, the studio now says they’re going to delay it another year because of the recent SAG-AFTRA strike.

Or it could be because the whole thing has turned so very weird. The Daily Mail claims an “insider” tells them that Disney is said to be ‘figuring out what to do’ after making a $330 million turkey.” (How Thanksgiving-ish!) The 22-year-old star princess (Miss Snow, if you will), is Colombian-American. Interesting since the original ’fair’ German princess had ‘skin as white as snow.’

What’s wrong with this picture?

Actually, a lot!

The seven dwarfs were not going to be dwarfs at all. Politically incorrect. They were going to be six tall men and one short guy from various ethnic backgrounds. No doubt one of them must be of LGBTQ+ variety. It appears that idea may be scrapped for the final release.

Sound like the world is going upside down? It is. In 2 Timothy 3, Paul writes to his protege saying,

“You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good.” (vv. 1-3, NLT)

I can’t say we’re in the end times or not. But I can say Macy’s and the parade organizers have lost touch with their core audience. And woke movie producers as well.

As the saying goes,

“Nothing to see here, folks.”

A turkey by any other name is still a turkey.

Mark Elfstrand, Cultural Affairs Writer
Mark Elfstrand is a Christian husband, father and grandfather. A 40-year radio veteran, Mark has been a drive time air personality in Sacramento, Dallas, Pittsburgh, and Chicago, including WMBI and WYLL. He has also served in various ministry leadership positions. His current endeavors can be found at
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