Happy Thanksgiving!

In this post, I discuss what I’m thankful for on this Thanksgiving holiday, as well as why we eat that giant, delicious bird.

Table set with food such as potatoes, carrots, rolls, turkey and stuffing spread over it.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! (or at least to our friends in the US. 😁)

Tomorrow is Turkey Day!  I think this is such a great holiday because no gifts are expected.  We can just focus on good food, a day of celebrating the blessings in our lives and getting to spend time with people we care about.  Did I mention the food? 😉  If you love to eat, how can you not delight in this holiday? 🤤

I think it’s spectacular to have an entire day (or even an entire weekend) geared toward giving thanks for the blessings that surround us.  We would do well to engage in this practice many times throughout the year, but at least we’re on the right track…

With all the “yuck” we’ve been dealing with the last few years: COVID, political and social unrest, wars, and the economic slump, I think it’s especially important to be aware of and thankful for the blessings that are present in our lives. 

How Thanksgiving Became a Holiday…

Harvest celebrations have occurred throughout the world since the first people successfully gathered crops in the fall, from seeds they planted in the spring.  The tradition is officially recognized as coming to the US with the Pilgrims.

Growing up, we were always taught that they had it rough that first year in the “New World”.  They didn’t know much about what the local climate was like, how long the growing seasons were, or what plants grew well in these soils.  Had it not been for people from the local tribes, who knew this land well as they had come to it LONG before, who saved the colonists’ sorry butts, they may not have survived at all.  That definitely seems like something worth celebrating!

Of course, history tells us that for centuries thereafter, the newcomers went on to repay the kindness of their saviors by violently evicting, and in many cases trying to eradicate them, but I digress…😔

I also find it interesting that this is not just a special day in the US.  Many other countries celebrate a similar holiday (though at different times of the year) including Canada and various places throughout Europe, the Caribbean, and Africa.  Obviously, Americans aren’t the only ones who see a Day of Thanks as being worth commemorating.

Why Does the US Eat Turkey on Thanksgiving?

There doesn’t appear to be any evidence that a large, roasted bird was served that first Thanksgiving in the “New World”.  It’s possible, as the fowl were present in the US at the time, but other critters, such as geese and deer, were more commonly hunted.

It seems the tradition of eating turkey arose more from the fact that, because of their size, turkeys can feed many mouths.  They also didn’t offer much additional worth, aside from food (people didn’t harvest their eggs or feathers) so they weren’t considered a loss.  Also, the bird is readily available in the wild and has since proven fairly easy (and relatively cheap) to mass produce for food.  Therefore, it made economic and logistical sense to use it for celebrations where large amounts of people needed to be served. (The turkey has become so well connected with this holiday that in the US, we have one particularly odd tradition where the President gives an official pardon to a few turkeys! 😮)

What I am thankful for…

On this coming day of thanks I have much to be thankful for:

…a loving and supportive spouse..
…caring family and friends…
…we are blessed with healthy bodies…
…I have a steady job, with decent pay, that allows me to help provide for my family…
…there is food on my table…
…there is a roof over my head…
…I have clothes on my back…

…and, perhaps most importantly of all, we live in a country that relishes personal freedoms (there are SO MANY people the world over who can’t say that).

Also a shout-out to all the companies who choose to put profits aside and allow their employees to spend the entire holiday with their families.  Good on you!

What else does one need, really?

I know it’s probably wishful thinking, but I also hope that on this day, maybe we can put some of our many differences aside, and just enjoy being with others…crazy idea, I know. 😝

Now, go enjoy some turkey and mashed potatoes! 🦃🍗…forget shopping on Black Friday, #OptOutside instead, enjoy some nature, exercise and wear off all those holiday calories…and get excited because after tomorrow…we can FINALLY enjoy Christmas!

What are your Thanksgiving traditions?  Tell me about them in the comments!

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Picture of a table set with food such as potatoes, carrots, rolls, turkey and stuffing spread over it. Pin reads, "Happy Thanksgiving from the Tranquil Trekker!"


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