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Thanksgiving Origins

November 22, 2018

 My table is set, and I had time to do research on Thanksgiving.   It is good to recognize that the first feast was nice but much of what surrounded it was not nice.  The conflicts we still experience all around the world is reminiscent of what happened between Indians and settlers.  We must humbly recognize the depravity of all mankind.  Times of peace and nonprejudice are few and far between  I watched  three YouTube videos about the history and what really happened beyond the happy relationship in the famous feast between the Indians and the Pilgrims. Eating together no matter what the context is a celebration and a boost.  Thanksgiving can be what we want it to be.  I have chosen to I celebrate it this year with neighbors from India, China, Turkey, Mexico, and Indiana. Turkey (halal), hot tamales, rice curry, and baklava comin' right up!  Oh, and children are coming to play.  What a great day this is.

 

What was called Thanksgiving was first celebrated at the time of Abraham Lincoln and then years later became a national holiday.  There has a much deeper and meaningful history behind it.  It is something that has raised morale during hard times. The idea came from Sarah Hale, a writer,  because she thought we should have a holiday for families to gather after harvest.  It was a time of rest and celebration of harvest, and also a time when families can come together.  Thanksgiving used the Pilgrims as a story to go with the holiday, but it really took an "America at that time"  identity.   It was especially meaningful because it was a break to be thankful in the midst of unrest in Civil War times.  It is also interesting to read that it was announced a national holiday under Franklin D. Roosevelt to get morale up during more war times.  

 

Thanksgiving in Puritan times was actually a term they used for fasting all day and giving thanks for all God's provisions.   I guess that it's all a matter of speaking.  One word can have so many meanings. 

 

The story that we use with Thanksgiving is the plight of the Pilgrims.  That first meal was was a short time of peace between the Indians and Pilgrims. The Indians brought 5 deer for meat to the feast and the Pilgrims shared the fruits of their labors.  Then there was fighting over property.  In addition to that, the Puritans were fanatical about their religion and killed the Indians, who had inhabited the continent for hundred and hundreds of year,  because they saw them as unbelieving "savages".  Disease was spread uncontrollably.  Hundreds died from guns and disease.   People from other countries had already started colonies in Florida and other places along the coast before the Mayflower even landed in Massachusetts.

 

It is interesting to read about the origins of the turkey, the pumpkin pie, and cranberry sauce.  Stuffing originated from the pratice of stuffing a small animal inside a chicken and a chicken inside a pig, etc. and cooking all of it at once and eating it that way. (link to article)

 

My Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to set aside for the gathering of people, be it family or neighbors.

It is what I want to make it.  The history of this nation has gruesome beginnings and difficulties continues on and on.  Thank God we have times of peace and celebration....happy times.  I am thankful for the freedom we have in America and all that is produced from our land.  I am thankful for the good people in my life. Most of all I am thankful for the ability to face truth and continuing in the joyful truth in knowing Almighty God through Jesus, my peace.

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