Today was Thanksiving. Everyone who lives in my house went to the cafeteria together and sat at one table and ate turkey (or in some cases [mine] tofurkey) and pie after pie and we shared our favorite part about the day over stuffing and mashed potatoes. So what if it was the third Wednesday of November and not the fourth Thursday? It was still Thanksgiving.
This is what I have been learning about holidays as I get older and farther away from home. It doesn't matter when they happen, it's how they happen and who they happen with. I have never had a more fantastic Halloween than the one I had on July 31st, or a more special Christmas eve than that of July 25th, and this November 14th Thanksgiving is no different. The holidays are special because there is an effort put into them. If you gather enough people around a table with a lot of food and tell them to be thankful nothing is missing. If you pull a dead tree out of the forrest and spend the afternoon taping hand-drawn ornaments to it with your close friends, that's no less a Christmas tree than a bargain spruce at your local supermarket.
I've always loved holidays, and I'm not trying to be overly sentimental in saying that it comes from the heart or that Christmas is Christmas, even without the presents. I'm almost saying the opposite. As long as you have the props and people, a believable holiday can happen any day you want it to. Because we have been conditioned to feel a certain way at certain times of the year, triggered by smells, sounds, objects, sweaters, family, and friends, if we gather those things together at a different time of the year we will feel the same feelings. Holidays are malleable, and I like that a lot.