Thanksgiving is an annual holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday of November. It originated from a harvest feast that was shared between the English colonists (that we refer to as pilgrims today), and the Native Americans or “Indians”.
It is believed the first gathering was in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Thanksgiving was declared an annual national holiday by the US president Lincoln in 1863, during the American Civil War. Today it is a very dear holiday, close to many Americans heart.
Thanksgiving is the time to gather with your family, with an unimaginable amount of casseroles, turkey (of course), sweet pies, and to reflect on all your blessings on what you have to be thankful for.
It’s not a proper Thanksgiving without turkey though. The holiday is even called “Turkey Day” at times. Some people oven-bake it, but it tastes even better when it’s deep fried or smoked!
Many people have their favorite holidays, but for us it’s definitely Thanksgiving!
5 Reasons Why It’s the Best!
There’s nothing like the feeling after stuffing yourself with a Thanksgiving Day meal. Most of the time you feel pretty sick after, but a nap is usually in order! So besides the turkey (and ham in some homes), a range of different dishes are made. Usually everyone makes a different dish and brings. Some of our favorites are green bean casserole, sweet potato souffle (with either brown sugar or marshmallows on top), pineapple casserole (consists of pineapples, butter, grated cheese, and Ritz crackers!), and stuffing. Other common foods served are deviled eggs, bread rolls, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and cranberry sauce. Now for desserts, you have to try a little taste of all of them! My favorites are sweet potato pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, pumpkin roll, and lemon meringue pie. Most of the time some kind of cake is involved too. Everything listed above is reason enough for why Thanksgiving is the best!
2. No Gifts
Christmas is a great holiday, and the meaning behind it of Jesus’s birth is even better, but unfortunately it’s not commercially the focus. Yes, it’s great to get together with your family again and share a meal, but the stress of gift giving is sometimes unfortunate. Many families go into debt shopping for Christmas presents during the season. I don’t think that’s the point of the holiday though, to bring that much stress deciding what to get someone, and then to spend money that you may not have. But Thanksgiving on the other hand… is like Christmas with your family, just without the gift exchange! You just eat!
Some things are just tradition and it’s hard to get away from it. Our ancestors have been doing it for years, and we are happy to carry it on. Traditions are great to have, and gives you a time to remember what you are celebrating and why. There is a Thanksgiving break in all schools, from the Wednesday until Sunday. Everyone tries to travel to go be with their family or friends during this time.
4. Black Friday Shopping
There’s nothing like expressing all that you are thankful for one day, then the very next day going out to blow all your money because you forgot how blessed you are. It’s ironic… we know. But I’m guilty of going out shopping for the deal as well. Just stay away from Walmart. It’s embarrassing really to see on the news the next day of the fights that occurred in stores across the country. It’s serious business. Despite these points, Black Friday shopping has been fun in my experience. Thanksgiving day, you look at the sales papers for the deals, and map out which stores you are going to, and what time you need to be there for the deal. Friday you wake up at ungodly times, in sometimes freezing weather, to join the mad shoppers. But you are with your girlfriends, mother, aunts, cousins, grandmas and whoever wants to participate!
5. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
This is a huge parade in New York City every year that’s broadcasted for everyone to see. At our house, in the morning while you are preparing for the huge meal and waiting for all the family to arrive, the TV is on the parade channel. I’d love to see this world’s largest parade in person one day. It’s been every year since 1923! Following the parade, is always the National Dog Show. It’s just tradition. 🙂
There is some controversy on the holiday for some, and has been organized into a National Day of Mourning by the United American Indians of New England (UAINE). It’s clear it wasn’t always rainbows and unicorns when settlers arrived to the New World, and there is much documentation on this. It’s definitely important to remember the Native Americans and to preserve their history.
Maybe for some, Thanksgiving is a time you don’t have the family to get together with or the relationship you wish you had with your relatives. I’ve always admired my family, because we would always have random people that didn’t have anywhere to go for Thanksgiving, to join us as part of the family.
For me, I still adore the holiday Thanksgiving because of the time with family and friends feasting together. I will continue to celebrate it no matter which country I find myself in.
What’s your favorite American holiday? If it’s Thanksgiving too, what other reasons do you have for it to be favorite?