What is Thanksgiving?
Monday, November 19, 2018
Originally this was a day to give thanks for the bountiful harvest of fall and of the year. This is a holiday celebrated around the world and not just the United States. It has roots in religious customs but also non-religious observances. Normally tanks and ceremonies are observed before the feast. Some of this is also due to the United States presence in other countries but also because in many cultures they also celebrate the harvest.
Often around this year canned food drives are held and collection to help others. There are feasts and free meals in some communities and colleges to help welcome the international students and students from out of town who aren’t able to go home for the holidays. This is a great way to make your college friends feel at home. I remember in college there was a free Thanksgiving dinner at one of the cultural diversity halls. Then a friend also invited one of the other friends to a Thanksgiving dinner at their house. It was terrific because it felt like we were part of the community partaking of a tradition that traditionally is with family. It was actually nice to be able to get a nice humble meal with cranberry jelly and engage in conversation before going back to the dorm. Traditionally there is turkey and dark or light meat, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and some cranberry and beans. And also some type of yams. The Peanuts cartoon showed that you don’t have to have a perfect Thanksgiving full of turkey and gravy because you just have to be thankful and enjoy time with friends and family. Often there may be foods that were based on foods from the native American diet of the 1600’s. Turkey is possibly a newer food since they may not have been in the Americas at the time. Due to this holiday there seems to more of this bird eaten than any other time. And so vegetarians sometimes feel left out.
Also there is traditionally a parade held around this time. Macy’s is one of the biggest. Football is also often a tradition of this time in the United States and often held at or around that day giving people a chance to have something to talk about at dinner or after dinner. Sometimes there is a marathon race around that time also. And recently there is an observance after this day in some schools to allow kids to be off school or do Christmas shopping.
Whatever you do around this day whether frozen dinner or a big feast with fried tofurkey or just some carrot & celery sticks and ranch dressing make sure to spend it with family. Don’t eat too much and remember life is meant to be enjoyed but take it one day at a time. Don’t over eat just cause it’s a holiday. The more you take in stride then the more days of life you can enjoy.