Now we all know that thanksgiving comes from the "first" meal between pilgrims and native americans, celebrating the first successful harvest of corn by the pilgrims. Apparently these kinds of celebrations have be held throughout time as a type of harvest festival. I also read that the first thanksgivings would last 3 days and existed for about 50 years before relations between the two deteriorated. So I do find it unfortunate that we celebrate a thanksgiving that doesn't accurately represent how it started. However, I am glad that families and friends sit down once a year to spend time together, be joyous, enjoy delicious food, and take moments to reflect on the things they are thankful for in life! I think that while we should stay aware of our history and what (to be specific where it is due) the europeans did to the native americans, we should also note the good that comes from taking time besides christmas, easter, birthdays, and other celebrations to come together and spend time with family and friends. I think something to be thankful for is that we have this country to live in, even if it isn't perfect (which one really is?) and even if we didn't gain it in the best of ways. We can at least appreciate what we have.
As far as black friday goes, I have conflicting views that I am trying to mesh together. I do think that the timing of it is horribly placed, considering it is the day after we are thankful for what we have. I don't agree with the sales intruding on thanksgiving by starting at 8pm ON THANKSGIVING. Sorry but I think that's entirely unnecessary. Why not have it go late into Friday night/Saturday morning? It's sad that people will go to the length of harming others to gain material objects. And apparently these aren't even the best deals that happen all year, so pay attention to what you're buying and all of the fine print that comes with these massive sales. But with all that said, my girlfriend showed me a different view of black friday. She came from a not so well off family, and she told me that it was one of the only times that they could afford to buy christmas presents. That was a completely different way to look at it. It wasn't that they weren't thankful for what they had, but they were thankful for the chance to be able to get gifts for the people they love. I think this is great and I hope that more people have this in their minds as they trudge through the stores and fight throngs of people to buy things.
And I'd also like to touch on the environmental impacts of thanksgiving. I love tradition, and would never want to see the turkey leave the table for that meal. But I think people should be aware that it takes growing vegetables, harvesting them, feeding it to turkeys, and setting aside land for the turkeys to either run around in or be cooped up and beefed up. It is one of the unfortunate parts of the holiday. Some people go for alternatives like ham and chicken, and even tofu, the formers of which also present the same situation as turkeys. It would be great to come up with a way to reduce the impact that our holiday makes on the environment (not to mention the added power it takes for cooking, gas for traveling, and water for cleaning dishes). If anyone has any thoughts on this, please comment. I will think on ways that we could do this. it honestly will probably force us to step outside the comfort zone we have created and opening up to options such as tofu, or perhaps even leaving the turkey out of the equation one year. Trust me, it is painful for me to even consider something like that because I am a sucker for tradition as well as turkey leftover sandwiches. But we must also seriously consider options that reduce our environmental impact.
I hope you've enjoyed this thanksgiving discussion. As far as what I'm thankful for, that'd be my wonderful family whom support me, my awesome grandparents that have made so much in my life possibly, my fantastic girlfriend who is ever so patient and has taught me so much, the ability to transition and my dad being able to help me with medical expenses, the support that I've been given throughout my transition, my opportunity to go to school and get a degree (even if I am super-de-duper ready to be out of school), for toilet paper, a roof over my head, clean running water, and so much more.
Happy turkey day to all, and to all a good pie and cup of coffee!