Many of us grew up learning about how “the Indians helped the Pilgrims when they landed in the Mayflower and that’s why we celebrate Thanksgiving.” Many of us also know that’s a load of crock.
You don’t need me to give you a long list of why that’s wrong, other authors have done a much much better job than I could of explaining it. Growing up, my family didn’t really put much emphasis on that angle of the holiday, instead using it as an opportunity to gather with each other and take stock of the things we were grateful for; a tradition that stuck with me as I got older as well.
2020 has really shone a spotlight on a lot of things for a lot of people and it’s time that Thanksgiving get called out as well. The tradition of Thanksgiving is an inaccurate tale of white supremacy, forced colonization, and genocide. I highly encourage doing more research on it, and instead of “celebrating Thanksgiving” start creating new traditions in your family circles.
Nobody is telling you that you can’t be thankful for the things you have and the things you’ve worked for. However, much like Valentine’s Day, it’s something that should be taken stock of throughout the year and not centered on just one day; especially one day created to celebrate the whitewashing of a terrible historical event. Take a few minutes every day of the year to be thankful and grateful. Feel blessed if you want to. Take the time to gather with your family and loved ones (safely, let’s not get together in person during a global pandemic) more often than just during November and December. Tell your loved ones that you love them.
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