Another Thanksgiving day has come and gone. The country, as a whole, acknowledges and celebrates Thanksgiving with parades, meals, and football games. Most of us do this automatically, without thinking about it, we just do it. Some, however, may wonder why do we celebrate Thanksgiving. Is there some sort of Thanksgiving meaning that I’m missing out on or have I been doing it right…and for the right reasons?
Thanksgiving Meaning: Why Do We Actually Celebrate Thanksgiving?
Having a Happy Thanksgiving
Taking a peek from my little corner of the world, any positive reason for celebrating Thanksgiving is a good one. Getting together with family or friends, having a good Thanksgiving meal, or simply chilling in front of the tube for parades and games are all meaningful methods of celebrating this annual holiday.
On the other hand, some folks find comfort and meaning by connecting religion or faith to the whole shebang. This, perhaps, has connections to the Pilgrims, their supposed journey here in search of religious freedom, and the whole “First Thanksgiving” story we’ve been told over and over. Also, the act of “giving thanks” has much weight in Christian religions. Perhaps others too, but I’m most familiar with the Christian take on things.
A Little Thanksgiving Holiday History Secret…
I could be pragmatic and say the reason why we celebrate Thanksgiving is that it is a national holiday. It is a holiday because an influential, patriotic, and ambitiously crusading author named Sarah Josepha Hale became fascinated with the story of the Pilgrims feast in 1621. She decided to write a turkey and stuffing recipe book and she was a fan of pumpkin pie. She decided it would be a good idea to make Thanksgiving a national holiday.
In 1846 she took action and began writing annual editorials in her influential magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book championing making Thanksgiving a national holiday. This was persuasion aimed at President Lincoln. She sent letters too. She sent letters to every state and territorial governor attempting to garner support. It worked. In 1863, President Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday. Who says persistence doesn’t pay?
Turkey Day-Your Way
I think finding your own type of Thanksgiving meaning is the best route. That fits with my appreciation of free will and the importance of individual choice.
If you want to imagine Pilgrims and natives sitting around a table chowing down while you eat your fill and that puts a smile on your face, I say good for you. If celebrating Thanksgiving means you get a warm fuzzy by connecting the day to faith or religion, more power to you. If you are thankful for getting the day off from work, being an armchair quarterback, and yelling at the TV because refs are making shitty calls, I say go for it. If you want to have Thanksgiving drinks and conversate your fool head off, like I do, that’s an option too.
Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving is a good question. Why do you celebrate Thanksgiving is a question only you can answer. If you’re not sure why…no sweat. You have a whole year to come up with an answer that satisfies you.
Again, from my little corner of the world, taking a moment or more to be Thankful is an action without a downside in my book. I’ll leave it at that.