Thanksgiving is… Contested
The autocomplete feature of Google describes the most common searches containing a phrase. The most common searches about Thanksgiving Day, being thankful, being grateful (and their negations) give us a bit of a glimpse into the cultural concerns we give about Thanksgiving. Here are the Google autocomplete results about Thanksgiving Day that appeared on Thanksgiving Day 2014:
Home and family are associated with Thanksgiving in an uncontroversial way, while the idea of commerce, shopping and stores is seen as anathema to Thanksgiving and a threat to it. As for the relationship between religion and Thanksgiving, there’s some serious disagreement: while some connect thankfulness to God, others point out that Thanksgiving is neither religious in general or Christian in particular. Which side wins by sheer volume? A search for “Thanksgiving is a Christian holiday” returns 127,000 web pages. A search for “Thanksgiving is not a Christian holiday” returns just 12,400.