Happy Thanks-Giving!

There are a few holidays that we celebrate in the US that don’t resonate with me.  Columbus Day, commercialized Christmas, & Thanksgiving.  “Thanks Giving” is a great concept; however, our version of it is a bit Euro-centric, to say the least.

I recently discovered a book titled 1621 Thanksgiving: A New Look, published by the National Geographic Society.  It caught my eye because it’s so different from the Thanksgiving books I was exposed to as a child.  Instead of a group of Pilgrims dominating the cover, this book has a beautiful photo of a Native American woman on the front.  It was written by the Plimoth Plantation (that’s how it’s spelled in the book) in collaboration with the Wampanoag Indian Program Advisory Committee.  Wow!!!  A book about Thanksgiving that Native American people co-wrote.  I eagerly devoured the story, confirming that it isn’t the pilgrim-version of Thanksgiving that I want to celebrate… it’s the Wampanoag-version of “Thanks Giving” that speaks to my spirit.  Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday; it’s a way of living in gratitude all year long.

I don’t need to wait until the 4th Thursday in November to express gratitude for all those I love dearly, my health, my cozy home, my backyard retreat that nourishes both people & native wildlife, art, Mother Nature, & countless other things that mean so much.  My Thanks Giving ritual will occur far more often.

May you have a happy Thanksgiving & many reasons to give thanks every day of the year!


4 thoughts on “Happy Thanks-Giving!

  1. Thank you for this. I needed it. What a welcome message with so much behind it. My thoughts are simple: live more simply and the rewards will be great. Live more in touch with the planet and you’ll have more than enough, and more than enough to be thankful for. But most importantly, curb your wants. Be content in what’s around you. That’s not a dictum or commandment, it’s just some advice from someone who has, from time to time, been caught up in the modern way of living with its emphasis on “own all you can, and you’ll die happy,” a philosophy I abandoned some time ago. This Thanksgiving week I have devoted to exploring with my wife ways that we can both live more simply yet feel every bit as satisfied with our lives. Our Thanksgiving Day will be fruitful but simple, spent cooking a turkey between the two of ourselves on a simple charcoal grill while we both do yard work. I guess the first thing I’m thankful for is that the weather will be conducive to that this year! Thanks again for your great note and reminding us of the critical role the Native American played in our country becoming prosperous in so many ways we lose sight of it. We all have more things to be thankful for than we can really even begin to count.

  2. Beautifully expressed. Right now Brhiannon and I are reading a book called “Before Columbus: The Americas of 1491” What an eye opener. Totally shifted my view of Central and South America and their role in the evolution of humanity. And made me realize just how unbalanced our traditional curriculum is. This should be required reading. And more than a few history textbooks need to be revised to not be “politically correct” but accurate!

    • Thank you so much. I couldn’t agree more. Our educational system needs to focus more on accuracy rather than stick to old concepts built on deception. From the treatment of the Native Americans to the interment of Japanese during WWII to ongoing discrimination against various segments of our society up to this day, we need to acknowledge the past if we are to learn from it.

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