The True Meaning of Thanksgiving
Photo Credit: Nicole S
I am all for free enterprise, but please! Keeping people from their families, from the ability to have one - yes, ONE - day off to give thanks in whatever form that takes for them, is simply wrong. I refuse to shop on Thanksgiving. There is nothing I need that I can't wait 24 hours for it.
Several years ago, I researched the Thanksgiving holiday for a class I was teaching, I discovered an interesting fact. Giving thanks for the harvest was NOT a pilgrim tradition. Giving thanks was an Native American tradition! In addition, this national holiday was proclaimed such by President Lincoln during the Civil War. War was what brought this nation to its collective knees in prayer, but for the Native American peoples, giving thanks to the Creator was and is still a daily practice.
The corporate giants will NOT be getting my money on Thursday. Nor will I get romanced into thinking that what I am observing, as we sit around our table, is some kind of tribute to the magnanimous generosity of the Pilgrim Fathers. I will, however, bow my head, giving thanks for the important things in my life, as I do everyday. I will slowly eat the meal my beloved and I will prepare together, remembering that many will go without today and for thousands of tomorrows, too. Then, as we sit enjoying the company of a dear friend, I will pray silently that all my loved ones around the world will be blessed today, not because it is a national holiday, but because this is what I ask the Creator everyday. I will remember those whose lives where cut short by oppression, hate, disease and war. I will offer prayers for peace, as I remember the sacrifices of those who protect us every second of every day - those who will not be with their families, not because they are working so that we can spend money on things we don't need, but because they work to give us the freedom to shop or to write about how appalled we are at the thoughts of shopping on Thanksgiving.
May we all find time to give thanks - today, tomorrow and for all the days to come. May the bounty we have be shared freely and with great joy. May we be forgiven for the times we turned away from, lashed out at or forgot the needs others. May we forgive those who hurt us with words, actions or thoughts. And, may the Love and Light of this season shine brightly from the hearts of all.
Other Articles of Interest:
Mass Moments - http://massmoments.org/moment.cfm?mid=340
United American Indians of New England - http://www.uaine.org/