I realize that we live in a society where everyone wants to be divisive over everything. But Bruh, I’m over it. Everyone seems to miss the point of Thanksgiving and move directly to what asses the pilgrims were to come to the new world to kill all the native Americans and then claim their country as ours and all because we wanted slaves and blah, blah, blah. Americans are the monsters of the earth. Did I just nail it all in about one sentence?
But here’s the thing. In all the accounts I have read and researched over the years on the first Thanksgiving, it all boils down to this, giving thanks for surviving a harrowing situation and sharing a meal with others that are different from us. And at least during this time, there was peace and tranquility. And food. But not chocolate pie.
Maybe one day we will get it right. Just be thankful for what is good in the moment and share a meal and some laughs with others who may not be like you (this includes family). Learn to get along. Try to work together. Be inclusive and not divisive. You don’t have to walk away being best friends either. Just in the moment give thanks and take stock of what you are thankful for. And yes, I’m perfectly aware that someone will start fuming with me at this exact moment and trash me in the comments. But guess what? I was raised to know that life isn’t fair, and not everyone will like me or my thoughts. I’ve learned to deal with that and am at peace with it, so I am not upset and bawling in my margarita every time it happens. Because it will happen again. But I can deal with it. Can you?
Sorry, lost my sweet disposition for a second there.
So here are a few facts about Thanksgiving you may or may not know:
- The Plymouth Rock Thanksgiving may or may not be the first Thanksgiving in the Americas. But it is referenced in writing in a letter from Edward Winslow (Pilgram and Govenor) to a friend back in England. I believe it is the only reference made in writing about the feast with the Wampanoags during the time period and not based on word of mouth passed down from generation to generation. (We all know how those stories go). You can read about Edward and the Thanksgiving we celebrate from an article in the Smithsonian Magazine here: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/why-edward-winslow-plymouth-hero-thanksgiving-180961174/
- In 1541 it is said a Thanksgiving feast was celebrated by the Spanish in Duro Canyon while looking for gold.
- 1598 Another Spanish feast near the Rio Grande with the Pueblo Indians.
- 1607 in Maine at Fort St. George with the Abenaki Indians.
- 1565 in St. Augustine, Florida: Spanish Founds and native Timucuan people had a feast there.
So, who really knows where the first Thanksgiving was and with who and what was served? No one really knows with 100% certainty. We do know there were no Margaritas or Chips and Salsa served at these Thanksgiving feasts. But they all had the same thing in common. Giving thanks and getting along.
How about we continually thank the original natives of the Americas and their descendants while we are being thankful for everything. We are all here now and none of us lived back then. Time to move the path forward and be even more thankful and thoughtful and less divisive for future generations. If we don’t, we lose. We will ALL lose.