…but do try to partake in fun dining ventures with the ones you love (and, of course, with those your loved ones might force you to interact with—it’s tradition).
The Thanksgiving holiday and I don’t quite see eye-to-eye. Perhaps, it would be more accurate to say that I can’t help baring my teeth around the reason that most people in North America attach to the celebration of the holiday: the “first Thanksgiving” or the meal shared between Pilgrims and Native Americans in the autumn of 1620.
No, I haven’t forgotten the 1863 bit about Abraham Lincoln’s “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens” (which, by the way, brings up other troubling issues for those Americans who don’t quite see eye-to-eye with said “beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”. But that’s another post).
I know there are many reasons to be thankful for every day of our lives. Why not make the last Thursday of November a special day for it, right? Well, because I feel that if we continue to pour delicious gravy and cranberry sauce on a spoilt turkey, it is possible that in time our children will blindly consume the bad fowl, and never understand why their tummies hurt so much… or why their eating fills other people’s mouths with bile.
Am I saying that we should boycott Thanksgiving? Certainly not; that would be a terrible thing to even think about—so many people find solace on this celebration. By all means, let’s party and share a good meal with those we love, but let’s dine not on cultural or historical amnesia.
Before we take the first bite, let’s remember (and profusely thank) the people who opened their table to strangers… the people who taught those strangers to farm the land so that their children wouldn’t starve to death in a new world… the people who lost almost everything to the strangers they welcomed to their food and land.
Our children should know that the first people deserve respect; and that we wish, with all our hearts, for them to never become anything like the strangers.
I wasn’t going to share the following, today, but what’s Thanksgiving without the mildly terrible delights of cough-inducing satire? So here is a “Thanksgiving Haiku”:
eat, dear guests, we have enough;
friends don’t kill for food.