In which I rush a very chaotic post about Thanksgiving. edit: AMERICAN THANKSGIVING. Also: I do not profess to be an expert at anything, especially research.
Three days ago (11/19) I posted a poll on Twitter (we’ll talk about that at some point) asking if anyone talks about pilgrims on thanksgiving. No one voted so I’m really just embarrassing myself by acknowledging it.
How the day came to be.
Traditionally we were told that the pilgrims were people from England who left their home country to find a new land where they can practice religion the way they wanted.
They started to get super hungry and saw that people who we used to call Indians were growing all kinds of goodies. Those NATIVE AMERICANS taught the pilgrims how to grow corn, which it what is always shown in the old pictures.
Then to celebrate this, they all had dinner together, and giving thanks for their new friendship. And they all lived happily ever after.
What really happened is a whole bunch of various celebrations of “giving thanks”. These celebrations spanned from roughly the 1600s on. The earliest events were because the people were simply grateful they landed after lord knows how long in a ship on the ocean.
Some of these too, we’re just being happy to be around a still and having what they needed. And yes, a few of them were particularly documented, which includes the one where the puritans sat down with the local native tribe and they broke bread. But this was not the first nor was it the only celebration at this time.
There are a LARGE number of people who believe that celebrating Thanksgiving, is just accepting the fact that colonists came to the then untamed land and stole from and oppressed people native to what we now know as America.
There’s also the problem of colonists bringing diseases that the Native American tribes they encountered had never come in contact with before, therefor submitting them to illness they mostly did not survive.
Now, while he celebration we were all told about in elementary school was a real thing that happened, sort of mostly the way we were told, it was just one Thanksgiving that was written down.
And apparently lost and then found again, like, 200 years later.
While this event, and many others are all in themselves very interesting tales to research, where not here for that. We are hear for the facts. Well, the facts as I read them and then haphazardly spew them back out into a blog post.
There are some that celebrate Thanksgiving and Columbus Day (that’s a whole other cup of tea) as a “National Day of Mourning” to acknowledge the “genocide and conquest of Native Americans”. Because old white people think, as they’ve always thought, that they’re better than non-white people, they created a holiday that celebrated something good they did, hiding or simply choosing not to discuss all the bad things they also did.
There are also people who celebrate Friendsgiving, where in place of gathering with family, you share a meal with friends. Whether this new fangled tradition was created to spite the negative connotations of Thanksgiving, or just a reason to celebrate with friends, I don’t know.
How do you celebrate?
Like 90% (my estimate) of the country, I celebrate with my family. Mostly just my sister and her crew get together with my crew. We spend an ungodly amount of time, money, and effort, purchasing ingredients and cooking dishes and then we eat. And then we get really tired and don’t want to do anything but nap after.
This year’s menu is about the same as every year, Turkey, ham, dressing, mashed potatoes, all the typical dishes. Except green bean casserole, we’ve never had that.
Capitalism Really Popping Off
You didn’t think I’d forget to add my classic “Happy Merry Capitalism” bit? While Thanksgiving isn’t the biggest federally approved consumerist holiday, it does have its money making aspects for businesses. Because the only people who raise turkeys are the ones lobbing off their heads, plucking them smooth and selling them off by the pound.
Unless you legit raise your own Turkey and if you do, I salute you.
Nope, you gotta buy your food somewhere, and while a lot of places that sell food are family owned farms, the bulk of them are in it for the dolla bills y’all.
Butterball brand might have once been owned and operated by a family, but they’re now run by a conglomerate, which is owned and operated by, you guessed it, old white men in suits. Probably.
Like every single other holiday, commercial or not, we all celebrate differently from each other and from the way it was celebrated when it first began. I mean, up until the last few years, there were people who planned their Thursday dinners around the National Day of Sales, Black Friday. And some people even write zombie stories about that (That’s me, I’m some people)!
And yes, it’s not lost on me that we have circled back to commercialism.
The fact is, celebrating Thanksgiving doesn’t mean you’re celebrating freedom of religion, or the horrible treatment of native people displaced by old white men’s agendas and mistaken belief of superiority.
And you should enjoy the fourth Thursday of November however you choose to go about it. Because it won’t be long before we don’t even have the day. In 30 years we’ll have Chrismaween. And Mr Gobbler will be a figment of old people’s imaginations.