Thanksgiving is one of America’s most treasured holidays and traditions. While there are some constants in the way we observe the day, it can mean different things to different people. The American Thanksgiving holiday began as a feast in the early days of the American colonies almost 400 years ago. In 1620, a boat filled with more than 100 people sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from England to settle in the New World. This religious group had begun to question the beliefs of the Church of England and they wanted to separate from it.
The pilgrims settled in what is now the state of Massachusetts, and their first winter in the New World was difficult. They had arrived too late to grow any crops, and without fresh food, half the colonist died from diseases which the contracted on the voyage from England. The following spring the Iroquois Indians befriended the pilgrims and taught them how to grow corn, something the colonist never had done before. They showed them other crops to grow in the unfamiliar soil and how to hunt and fish. In the autumn of 1621, plentiful crops of corn, barley, beans and pumpkins were harvested. The colonists had much to be thankful for, so a feast was planned. They inv
But don"tmt let it pass without telling the people who you love and who love you that you are thankful for them. The Indians brought deer to roast with the turkeys and other wild game offered by the colonists. ited the local Indian chief and 90 Indians. The colonists had learned how to cook cranberries and different kinds of corn and squash dishes from the Indians. For people in the retail business, the day after Thanksgiving represents the busiest shopping day of the year. Experts say there is nothing wrong with allowing oneself to experience the feelings of sadness and loss. Bargain hunters set their alarms to go off before the crack of dawn, and then flock to the large stores in what has become an incredible ritual. After the United States became an independent country, Congress recommended one yearly day of thanksgiving for the whole nation to celebrate. Sometimes giving thanks may seem a bit difficult under those circumstances. When that changes, for any reason, the arrival of Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, or any traditional family gathering day is bound to trigger feelings of sadness. For the early settlers, Thanksgiving was a recognition that in spite of their early tragedies, the colonists overcame the adversity, reached out for help and were able to successfully sow the seeds of a food supply and what would go on to become the greatest nation on Earth. And if you know someone who will be spending Thanksgiving and other holidays alone, reach out in some way so that person knows he or she is not alone. For most of our lives, the holidays are symbolized by time spent with the people to whom we are closest to. George Washington suggested the date November 26 as Thanksgiving Day and then in 1863, at the end of the long civil war, Abraham Lincoln asked all Americans to set aside the last Thursday in November as a day of thanksgiving.