Holidays have virtually disappeared through most of the books of the series. The day-to-day struggle for existence has a tendency to wipe such things from the mind. Yet, in history of the North American continent there persists the story of one celebration that occurred regardless of a similar type of struggle.
There are many ‘myths’ about the first Thanksgiving. While there are some people who would like us to wipe away the concept that there ever was anything like a real first Thanksgiving, they are wrong, it happened and it is in the historical record. I don’t particularly care if the Native Americans had a bunch of other ‘feast days’ around the same time, the first Thanksgiving was done for a reason.
That first Thanksgiving was a harvest celebration. It occurred in October after the Pilgrims’ first autumn harvest and lasted for three days. Turkey was apparently not on the menu that year. Instead, they ate waterfowl, venison, fish, lobster, clams, berries, fruit, pumpkin, and squash.
The Indians were the Pilgrim’s neighbors and appeared to have helped with the harvest, hence, they were a part of the celebration. The record says that there were 53 Pilgrims (all that had survived to that point) and about 90 Native Americans at the feast.
At that point, the day wasn’t called Thanksgiving. It was a day of abundance and most likely the clergy of the time called for prayer and thanksgiving. It wouldn’t be until the Continental Congress was formed that an ‘official’ Day of Thanksgiving would be considered. It became an actual Federal Holiday in 1863.
I know that there are revisionists who would be foaming at the mouth to read the truth here. Thanksgiving wasn’t about some political agenda or murdering and enslaving innocent Native Americans, it was about a cooperative effort between two peoples from two very different cultures. Somehow, they set aside their differences and worked together and feasted together.
If all you can think of this day is hatred, anger and hurt, then I really do pity you. Today is a day to realize that even in our struggles to just to survive, there is time to stop and give thanks to the One who made a world filled with light and love.
I pray that you and your families have a wonderful time this Thanksgiving. Give thanks for what you have, give prayers and help for those who are less fortunate.