HW: #ThrowbackThursday: First Thanksgiving.

Here in the US, Thanksgiving is still more than a month away. What possessed me to write a post so ahead of its time? It was on October 3rd, 1863, when Abraham Lincoln declared last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day. Naturally, it was George Washington who proclaimed Thanksgiving as a national holiday in the 18th century. However, Thomas Jefferson did away with it. Franklin Roosevelt changed Thanksgiving’s date in the 20th century, but ultimately, in 1942, Congress decided to celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November. It has been the case ever since. Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a day during which we should give thanks to our Father in Heaven.

You know how kids have these “My first Christmas” shirts nowadays? I think there is a customized/ personalized outfit available for every occasion. When I was a kid, we did not have any of that. We guess how old we were by the clothes we and others wore, and by random knick-knacks seen in the photo. If we were lucky enough, there was a date written on the back of the photo. That habit was reserved mostly for my grandmothers. My parents and I could not even bring a pen close to the photographs. It seemed like writing in a book. You just do not even dream to do such a thing.

Since I never found a photo in which I am wearing a “This is my first Thanksgiving” short, I cannot be sure what exactly occurred then. Unlike some, I do not remember too much from my early childhood. Because of this, the “first” Thanksgiving for me is the one that I remember.

At that time, we were at a country in which no one celebrated Thanksgiving. It was rather weird to wake up in the morning and be told that it was a holiday. I browsed through the calendar but found no mention. My mother announced there would be turkey for dinner. I shrugged and went off to school – a place in which people had no idea what I was talking about. Most people never even tasted turkey. It made me wonder if maybe my family was weirder than I thought. Maybe we were a cult?

In the evening, the four of us gathered around the table. My mother was disappointed because she was not able to get any cranberry sauce. People looked at her as if she was crazy when she went from store to store looking for ANYTHING cranberry. No one seemed to know what that was. Whole turkeys were not available, which turned out to be a good thing, because you do not need a lot of it for just four people. We shared a couple of legs and wings.

I am not sure if it is a true memory or one that the creative side of me planted, but I seem to remember that there was a year during which we had chicken for Thanksgiving. (It might have even been THAT first Thanksgiving.) Turkey just was not a popular kind of meat, so we took what resembled the turkey the most – chicken.

Before eating, my mother asked everyone to say what they were thankful for. While I do not remember what I actually said, I remember deciding right there and then that I would not like that holiday. I had to spill my feelings? Yuck.

Growing up without turkey meat being easily available, I looked forward to Thanksgiving. Once a year we would get to eat something else. And the dark meat is so tasty. After a while, the fashion for turkeys made it through the border and so we were able to eat it more often. Thanksgiving was not so special anymore. There even are cranberries easily available now.

Even though my family always tried to keep us in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I never really connected with that particular holiday. To this day, this has got to be my least favorite holiday. Please, do not unfollow me because of that. It is not that I do not like it. It is just that I like others more. Christmas is my ultimate favorite. (Feel free to hit that Follow button if you love Christmas, too!)

These days, I celebrate Thanksgiving, as I always have. My family and I gather for dinner. Having a day off work definitely helps. Everything around you helps you get into the Thanksgiving spirit. It is a good time to catch up with family and friends over some good food. If you get to sit at a Thanksgiving table with me someday, please do not ask me what I am thankful for. My answer would most likely be very generic: “I am thankful for you all”. That is not because there is nothing I am thankful for. Quite the contrary, I am thankful for A LOT of things in my life. I praise the Lord for it every. single. day. I tell the people around me that I appreciate them. But when I hear: “Let us go around the table and say what we are thankful for,” I think of cliche Christians who only go to church on Christmas Day. I think of that very first Thanksgiving when I cringed when my mom asked me such a personal question.

It might just be my experience, but I think that Thanksgiving is losing its value. Many people stuff themselves with the food as quickly as they can, and then they are off to stand in line for Black Friday. If you are not a part of that group, you might be a part of the one that does not care about the dinner as much as they care about catching a football game with a beer in hand.

What was your first Thanksgiving like?

What are your thoughts on Thanksgiving?

How do you spend Thanksgiving?

What are you thankful for? (tongue in cheek)

Stay golden,

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36 thoughts on “HW: #ThrowbackThursday: First Thanksgiving.

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  1. Wow, you bring up an interesting aspect. Many people claim that Christmas is a pagan holiday and that Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th. And then, turns out we do not celebrate Thanksgiving on the actual date, just what is convenient. Awesome post Goldie, I know I didn’t answer any of your questions, but you got me thinking.

    So…is the sabbath on Sunday or Saturday?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The questions are not mandatory, so you are alright.

      Are you asking about the sabbat observed by Jews vs. Christians? I look at it like that – Sunday has always been THE day. No school and no work (at least back in the day). Some people worked on Saturdays. Sunday was the day to rest and worship. I stand by it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We get Thanksgiving before the states, but I grew up not thinking much of the holiday. Not that I was not thankful and all that but there wasn’t much symbolism placed on the holiday in my family back in the day. It’s somewhat different now, but it truly wasn’t that big of a deal which saying seems to be negative which is not my intention.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love Thanksgiving. We celebrate by packing as many family members as possible into our home and having a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Cooking it is as much fun as eating it. As children on thanksgiving we would get up early and help mom make the stuffing (we got to break up the bread) before she stuffed the bird and put it in the oven. Then we would watch the Thanksgiving Day parades on TV. Like you I don’t wait for the holiday to give thanks for my blessings. In that sense Thanksgiving is every day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think a lot of holidays are losing their value. For me anyway. I don’t really celebrate anything anymore. Not in the traditional way at least.
    Sad-I know.

    I like how you said that you are thankful for every single day.
    I hope to achieve that one day

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I totally understand why you don’t really celebrate those holidays in a cliche way. I have to admit that I’m not into them full force like others, either. BUT, I do think we deserve a break sometimes. Life can be mundane and those Holidays can be a nice change of pace. I definitely think that we should celebrate them the way WE want and not the way others tell us to.

      I hope you will, soon.

      Like

  5. Great post Goldie. I am Canadian, so we celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Sunday of October. Yup, Sunday. Most people get the Monday off work though. My family are not big on turkey, so as it was originally started to be thankful for the harvest and bounty, we try to eat food that equates with fall. I have served Prime Rib, Pulled Pork, Ham and over the years turkey. The last few years I have also added Curried Butternut Squash and Pear soup. We do the whole “What are you thankful for?” but you have raised a good point, I will rethink that this year. I am also a very thankful Christian and thank God for my many blessings every day. That is one of the reasons I joined in with the Friday Positivity Post, to make sure I dwelled on the good things in my life, not the negatives. Okay, enough rambling. Have a great weekend. 🦃🥧

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s good that you get a Monday off to extend the weekend. Easter comes to mind. It’s a Holiday that seems totally unimportant to me. As a Christian, it should be the biggest day of the year, but with it being on a Sunday and not having a Monday off, it just seems like any other Sunday. I wonder if there is a conspiracy involved in that.

      Pear soup? That sounds rather interesting. Is it on the sweeter side?

      Yes, I think your FPP are a great reminder and an expression of thankfullness.

      Enjoy your weekend and stay golden!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is all one soup. You really can’t taste the pear, but it sure works. My kids fight over the leftovers. We also get Easter Monday off here in Canada, so that is a four day weekend for us. My Daughter-in-law works in the US, so she has to go to work and we all get to stay home.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I love Thanksgiving. It’s a time just to spend with those we love. The family we have or the family we make. I love there’s no gifts, it’s not commercial (not counting Black Friday malarkey) it’s just a simple day to just see the joy in life. I’m thankful for the hard events we had in my family this year, it’s a reminder that life is precious and love is eternal and limitless. I’ve learned that unhappy events are always going to happen but that even in the worst times, there’s light and joy if we open up to accepting it. I’ve been ill, my daughter was ill, we lost Chunks. In all of these instances I’ve been enveloped in love, compassion and sympathy from friends all around the world. No one can take my light – it’s only me that can let it go out and realising that has been a huge motivator for me. There’s been bad things this year for sure but there’s been a lot of love, laughter and joy. I’m thankful

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with the “no gift” sentiment. However, the cooking craze is absolutely insane in the families I am a part of. It can be stressful for the cooks and they can spread the negative energy onto others.

      “No one can take my light – it’s only me that can let it go” – you put it beautifully. I’m trying to tell someone who is in a dark place exactly that, but they disagree.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If a person doesn’t enjoy cooking – don’t!! I’ve never understood people who martyr themselves and make everyone else suffer alongside. Buy a pie damnit! I do love the cooking frenzy and that’s a big part of the fun for me. There’s the key word – fun! If you can’t enjoy the time with your family or they can’t enjoy being with you then you need to change stuff.
        Sometimes people enjoy their ‘dark’ or the attention they get for it too much to lose it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’d love to witness you cooking. Never in my life have I witnessed a cook for the holidays who was not stressed. I think most of the time it’s the time constraint and the need to live up to other people’s expectations. I prefer the more relaxed approach. ‘Tis the season to be jolly.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I’m a big fan of a time table. I plan the time I want everything ready and then work backwards to time how long everything takes and make a list of timings to put everything on. It’s a lifesaver. I’ve done this since I made my first roast dinner and stuff hot cold while waiting for everything else to finish

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanksgiving is… alright. I think I like the bustle: what with visitors, and the people (“thankfully” not me…) cooking all day. And the aroma. And, you know, the taste. Like you, I’ve never really connected with it though. But maybe that’s because I’ve struggled with religion, and the idea of me sitting at a table, praying, feels vaguely hypocritical.

    Also, the first memory that comes to mind when I think of thanksgiving involves me being tardy, getting snippy because everybody is trying to hurry me up, and getting snapped back at by one of my brothers… Or maybe my father. It was someone I was intimidated by; which, seeing as how I’m a bit of a crybaby at the best of times, and I think I was fairly young then… I’m pretty sure that didn’t go well. I might’ve thrown a tantrum? It got sorted out I’m fairly sure, but it left kind of a dark cloud; at least, for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good point. It always makes me pause when I see non-religious families pray at the Thanksgiving table. But I guess a single prayer is better than none.

      That’s a funny story. Well, at least from my perspective. But that’s exactly what I dislike about ANY Holiday – the rush. It’s so unnecessary. Just calm down. Enjoy it.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for sharing your story with us. I have to admit that I too believe that Thanksgiving has lost its meaning/purpose over the years, especially when Black Friday overshadows it. I don’t celebrate that particular day, and it’s not the same day as Americans too anyways but I like the family-oriented idea behind it. Maybe in the future I’ll make a tradition out of it just for the sake of it. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The idea behind the Holidays is what appeals to me. The wrapper is too shiney and it blinds me. I think making your own traditions is the way to go. If you give into the craze, you become part of the madness, if you rebel and choose not to celebrate, you are punishing what has no faults. But if you celebrate on your own terms… the light fills the room without overpowering your eyes.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. As a kid, only my nuclear family of 4 celebrated Thanksgiving together. I was a fan of the food (particularly the mashed potatoes and stuffing) and of having several days off from school, but never truly “celebrated” the day.

    I appreciate the holiday a lot more now that I’m local to tons of extended family. I still look forward to the food, but now it’s more about spending time together with family.

    Liked by 1 person

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Rachael Ritchey

Worlds of Fiction

from famine to feast

recovery and growth, things that interest me, occasional deep-thoughts, and semi-regular poetry

Skeptical Heartism

Views from a skeptical heart

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