Kyle Richtig Journal

Thanksgiving Traditions

Yesterday night CBC_Aboriginal tweeted out:

@CBC_AboriginalDo you opt out celebrating Thanksgiving? Share your stories. http://t.co/iZI7ZSA1OY @CBC_Aboriginal @CBCManitoba

I do not boycott Thanksgiving. In the same respect, I do not buy into the Pilgrim version of Thanksgiving. I did not live in a region with wild turkeys, and thus Turkey was something we ate, not something we could connect with on any level. When I was in my early 20s, I used to hold Homo-Thanksgiving celebrations for all my gay friends that did not have families to go see. Thanksgiving to me was a time to get together with friends and share a night of fun.

In my married life I have attended many family Thanksgiving dinners, of which serve for a chance for family to get together. The statutory holiday gives people the opportunity to travel farther for a visit. The faster the world gets around us, the more important these cornerstones seem to be.

Thanksgiving with regard to the Pilgrims I tend to think of as a problem that exists to a greater extent in the United States. I grew up with a harvest sensibility toward the holiday. That said, I tend to view Thanksgiving as the transitionary period where the leaves fall from the trees, the nights get noticeably longer and darker, and the temperature drops.

The article link in the above tweet talks about Christian origins of Thanksgiving in Nunavut. This was honestly the first time I have heard Christian (non-Pilgrim specific) overtones to this holiday. That said, most major Christian holidays (Christmas/Easter/All Saints Day) are repurposed holidays stolen from pre-existing religions. Change the meanings of holidays to suit your own purpose. Traditions are meant to bring families together, not control them.

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