As did most of you, I grew up with the traditional stories and feast of Thanksgiving: the turkey, the Pilgrims and Indians, giving thanks for the bounty we had, even if we kids were already creating shopping lists for Santa.
I raised my kids the same way, joining with my family when we could, hosting a blending of families once in a while. Politics and religion were studiously avoided, but the annual poker game took center stage. Those are the memories I cherish.
My kids remember the annual cheesecake. (Psst, kids, I’m making it again this year.)
But our world is changing. It’s more difficult to avoid religion and politics and points of view have hardened. Our natural world is faltering, beset by our lifestyle and greed. And people from different cultures are demanding their story be heard.
The Thoughtful Thanksgiving
So, this Thanksgiving, let us once again give thanks for all the blessings we have. Let’s be kind to each other, no matter what our political or religious views. Let us think of the natural world and perhaps temper our food choices to include a little less turkey and a little more fruits and vegetables. (Our bodies will thank us, too!)
But also, let’s take some time to learn a bit more about the other side of the story. The day after Thanksgiving is not only “Black Friday,” but Native American Heritage Day. They were the ones who, perhaps foolishly, welcomed the Pilgrims to their shores. Without them we would not have survived. Respect their half of the story. You can start here: https://blog.nativehope.org/what-does-thanksgiving-mean-to-native-americans