I’m not an American in any way or shape (I aint round or extremely skinny, which seems to be the 2 available shapes in America) but I celebrated Thanksgiving with a special friend from the USA last night and I gotta say, yikes, you guys know how to food! No wonder one of the shapes is round…
Anyways, before we all dug into the food that we all made ourselves (I made green bean casserole 🙂 and it was amazing) she told us a quick breakdown of where the tradition came from. So, I googled it and inevitably, got lost in the black hole that is the Internet for about an hour before reading about Thanksgiving. I knew the just of it already, the European settlers going over to North America in the year Something-long-ago-hundred and then dying because they couldn’t grow anything in the soil and had no medical (kind of the same as it is now, except back then it was free where it was found). So the Indians (not the ones from India…) came over and helped the white man to grow crops and stay alive. So after the first harvest they all gave thanks to God for provision and all that stuff.
This is what Wikipedia says:
Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. It has been celebrated as a federal holiday every year since 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”, to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Thanksgiving was also celebrated nationally in 1789, after a proclamation by George Washington. As a federal and public holiday in the U.S., Thanksgiving is one of the major holidays of the year. Together with Christmas and New Year, Thanksgiving is a part of the broader holiday season.
The event that Americans commonly call the “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621. This feast lasted three days, and it was attended by 90 Native Americans (as accounted by attendee Edward Winslow) and 53 Pilgrims. The New England colonists were accustomed to regularly celebrating “thanksgivings”—days of prayer thanking God for blessings such as military victory or the end of a drought.
I feel kinda sad, I’m not saying that they don’t anymore, but how many Americans remember the root of this holiday? “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens” It’s the same with Christmas celebrations, which is worldwide. People who know me, know that I am not at all a Christmassy type of person. This time of the year gets me worked up about stupid stuff, the malls are all crazy, the prices are even crazier and EVERYTHING seems fake. The only thing that I like about Christmas is the relationships, eating together, spending time together.
The rest of it rattles me up, what does a massive pine tree, not indigenous to South Africa, have to do with the birth of Christ, which wasn’t even in December???
Moving along, I found this interesting piece on Thanksgiving history, obviously I don’t know whether it is true or not, it is interesting non-the-less. What I will say is that I am slightly envious of the Americans and their traditions, if only the real reason for thanksgiving was still celebrated and not the commercialised turkey money making thing.
Venting over, here are 10 things what I am thankful for (for 2014):
- Heavenly Father… because I live and He loves me, and everything in this list is thanks to Him!
- I got a TEFL certificate, which enables me (if I ever wanted to) to teach English as a foreign language.
- 4 accounts got paid off (almost debt free), and gaining some financial freedom.
- Amazing people who opened up their home to me for about 11 months (you know who you are).
- Amazing people who opened their home for me to live with them, with my own massive room,
- and a car to go with it. ETERNALLY GREATFUL!!! (Again, you know who you are)
- Being humbled and taught that vulnerable is not weakness.
- Doing BSSM (Breakthru School of Supernatural Ministry) combined first year.
- Being able to do BSSM second year, next year.
- And just recently, registering to start a BCom degree next year.
What 10 things are you thankful for??