Thanksgiving

Food…. That is often times the one thing that crosses everyone’s mind when they speak of thanksgiving. All of the turkey, stuffing, green beans, and pumpkin pies bringing happiness. I remember growing up and waking up to a house full of movement and sound as my mother clanged around the kitchen starting the cooking, being shouted at to set the table, and smelling the turkey roasting in the oven. It’s sometimes easy to get caught up in it all. My question is: Does Thanksgiving have to be a huge to do or can it be a small unobtrusive event? What exactly is Thanksgiving? Is it really just one day?
According to the dictionary, Thanksgiving means: the expression of gratitude, especially to God. By this definition, any day we express gratitude, especially to God can be considered Thanksgiving. I believe that we should be thankful everyday not just one day a year.
Now let’s talk about the history of Thanksgiving. We consider the first thanksgiving to have taken place in 1621 with Plymouth colonist and Wampanoag Indians (History.com). Then for over two centuries it was celebrated by colonies and states; however, it didn’t become a national holiday until 1863 during the civil war by President Abraham Lincoln (History.com). All came about after a long hard first winter when the settlers were visited by an Abenaki Indian who greeted them in English then days later returned to the settlers with another Native American who was part of the Pawtuxet tribe called Squanto (History.com).
This is where it gets interesting. Squanto had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and sold into slavery until he escaped and made it to London eventually returning to his homeland (History.com). This man who had been so badly treated by an Englishman down to being sold into slavery helped the ENGLISH settlers learn how to grow corn, catch fish, and survive in the new land (History.com). Not only did he teach them skills, he helped form an alliance between the settlers and the Wampanoag tribe that lasted more than 50 years (History.com).
Take a step back a moment and think about this. This man was kidnapped, taken from his homeland, and sold into slavery by someone of the same descent of the people he helped survive! Would you be able to help the same people if you knew those people came from the same place as the people who took you from everything you knew and sold you into slavery? I know I wouldn’t be able to.
I won’t deny I enjoy celebrating Thanksgiving with my family. In fact, this year, my fiancé, Liam, and I are headed down to Florida with my mother and Pat for Thanksgiving. And I can’t wait for it! My only thing is not allowing ourselves to grow complacent in our daily lives when there is so much to be thankful for. Things such as freedom that our soldiers sacrifice so much for, jobs, food, shelter, family, love, and so much more. I believe Thanksgiving should be a part of our daily life. However, I do enjoy having one day to eat good food and spend with those with love too.

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