Thanksgiving celebrates blessings and family
Thanksgiving. Most people associate this word with lots of food and plenty of eating, but I don’t.
For me, Thanksgiving is a time to be with family and think about what you’re thankful for. Personally, I think Thanksgiving is one of the most underrated holidays of the year.
My family goes through a four-state rotation each year for the holiday. So, three out of every four years my immediate family travels to Missouri, Tennessee, or Florida. This four day week of being together is the only time the whole family gets to see each other out of the entire year.
According to History.com, in 1621 Plymouth colonists shared an autumn feast with the Wampanoag Indians. This was said to be the very first Thanksgiving Day feast. At this feast, the people were thankful for their corn harvest being successful and making it safe across the land.
Continuing on for two centuries, different days of Thanksgiving were celebrated by different states and colonies. It wasn’t until 1863 during the Civil War that President Lincoln declared the fourth Thursday in November to be celebrated across the United States.
Most Americans today, myself included, celebrate Thanksgiving by eating a huge turkey dinner with lots of other foods, just like those colonists and Indians did. But this shouldn’t be what the day is all about. Family is a special bond that should be recognized and celebrated on this day in addition to eating the traditional food.
I spent this Thanksgiving in Clarksville, Tennessee. My entire family travels between 6-12 hours to make it for the week. During the week, we play games, watch and play football, and just enjoy the time spent together.
Before I left school for the break, everyone was talking to me about all the food they’re going to eat, the “wonderful” sleep they’re going to get afterwards, and the football games that are on TV. I didn’t hear one person say anything to me about family or giving thanks. Quite frankly, I was disappointed.
I understand most people have the luxury of having family pretty close to home, but that doesn’t mean they should take it for granted. Is it really that hard to take a minute and tell your family how much you love them and how much they mean to you? I don’t believe so.
While you’re at it, how about taking five more minutes and thinking about what you’re thankful for. This might even be easier. Think about all the good things that you have and how much your life has changed because of them.
Stephanie Laird can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org