History is always accurate, just not when we try to retell it.
For example, July 2, not July 4, was the day America declared its independence.
The three wisemen weren't at the manger with baby Jesus, despite what your neighborhood nativity display indicates. They would've arrived a few years later, as everyone knows wisemen like to make a fashionable entrance, what with all that myrrh and gold and so forth.
And turkey was probably not the main course at the Thanksgiving feast.
If anything, it was deer and seafood.
What, your mom didn't spend 10 hours stuffing the Thanksgiving Mackarel?
All of which is to say that I didn't have turkey for Thanksgiving.
Now for anyone who has read this column in the past year:
Yes, it's no surprise that the vegan didn't eat turkey.
But what might be surprising to some who love tradition is that I can't think of any aspect of my holiday celebration that suffered as a result.
I got to spend some wonderful time with my family and in-laws*
(* It was my first major holiday as a married man. I would tell you I lucked out and have amazing in-laws, but I don't want you to steal them so, um, it was, err, horrible and they are all up in my business!)
I got to watch football, except for the Patriots/Jets game, which more resembled my memories of playing dodgeball in middle school. Let's just say I was a Jet in that situation and every other boy was Tom Brady.
And I got to enjoy some great food. My wife, whose baking skills are renowned in my office, made a peanut butter pie and apple crisp -- all vegan.
Sure, there was a turkey, but my in-laws on both sides of the family made some vegan food we could all enjoy, which was much appreciated.
And I even made a Tofurky roast.
That's right, I got one of those Tofurky Thanksgiving kits from Giant -- practically just out of curiosity -- and, two hours later, I had a decent turkey alternative but without any animals dying or having to use the word "carcass."
It was a cruelty-free Thanksgiving. Nobody was harmed, and that's considering it involved me watching the latest "Twilight." (Long story.)
People often tell me they could be vegetarian or vegan for most of the year, but it would be too tough to do it over the holidays. Breaking tradition? Having to find different meals? Being different with family around? Not worth it, they say.
I can't see any reason why not, though.
What, you're worried it won't feel like a traditional Thanksgiving without a turkey?
You know what was the original tradition at Thanksgiving? Smallpox. And you don't want to baste smallpox.
So maybe at Christmas, instead of a traditional ham, you try going for pasta.
Traditions are only as good as the facts they are based on.
And Jesus, most definitely, did not eat Christmas ham.