Thanksgiving is tomorrow! I know a lot of people are super excited for the food: deep fried turkey, seasoned mash potatoes, casseroles of all kinds, honeyed rolls, and sweet potatoes seasoned with pecans–makes my stomach growl just thinking about it! So how did we get so lucky to have a day like this?
Everyone knows the story of Thanksgiving. Pilgrims, sailing on the Mayflower, left England in September 1620 to seek a new land where they could practice their faith freely. The trip took roughly 66 days and their first winter in the new land was savage enough that only half the original passengers survived to see spring. That’s when they got a visit from the Native Americans. A man named Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to cultivate corn, harvest tree sap, catch fish, and basically survive. He even helped them form an alliance with the Wampanoag, a local Native American Tribe.
All that led up to November 1621. The Pilgrims threw a feast after their first corn harvest and they shared their food with the Wampanoag. According to History.com, the festival lasted for three days! Could you imagine celebrating Thanksgiving for three days? In this day and age, there would be SO MUCH FOOD and that’s what a lot of people would focus on, but in the time of the Pilgrims, I’d gather it was all about the thankfulness. Think about it: these people had just come to a new land with nothing but the Mayflower and their faith. After a dangerous voyage, half of them were wiped out through the winter. They must have had very little hope, a whole lot of doubt that they did the right thing in leaving, and their faith must have been shaken. Then, like a miracle, these strangers appear and teach them how to survive. The Native Americans didn’t have to help them. They could’ve let the Pilgrims figure it out for themselves (which probably wouldn’t have gone so well). And yet, because they helped, the Pilgrims survived and we now have the country we have today. The Pilgrims’ faith was probably restored and because they were so far from want, they celebrated with the Native Americans for three days. I mean, if you thought your future was all doom and gloom and then a few months later, you’re celebrating a bountiful harvest and suddenly your future doesn’t look so bad, you’d probably be partying for three days too.
That’s what I wish people would focus more on for Thanksgiving. Not the food or the jump straight to Christmas, but the fact that miracles can still happen. Hope is still out there and despite how doom and gloom your current situation or the future may seem, there’s something to be thankful for. Whether its strangers who appear out of nowhere to help you survive, friends and family to laugh and love, the job you have to support yourself, or even the small things like being healthy, having a roof over your head, or having a dog who’s forever loyal to you. There’s that saying of “count your blessings” and I think Thanksgiving is a good reminder to do that.
So, tomorrow, while you’re stuffing your face with all the delicious food, take a moment to pause, look around, and be thankful. I’ll thank God for all that I have, you can thank the universe, fate, whatever you believe in. Just as long as there is gratitude in your heart, my post has done its job.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I’m grateful for all of you.