As cliche as it is to dedicate a whole blog post to Thanksgiving on the eve of the national holiday rife with turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, it feels really important for me to look into some of the traditions coupled with the holiday.
Growing up, I don’t have many memories surrounding Thanksgiving, other than my mother and father slaving away for nearly two days making her famous lasagna. Being part Italian, we never really celebrated holidays in any standard American way. When people had ham for Christmas, we had pasta, when turkey was served on Thanksgiving, we had lasagna. Oftentimes other family members would bring traditional dishes to the Thanksgiving meal, but more often than not, the majority of attendees would devour my mothers lasagna. At one point in the dinner, my parents would stand up, make a speech as to why they were thankful for everyone attending, and then everyone would go around and share what they were thankful for.
During these times, I never knew what to say, and usually found some way to get out of the hullabaloo, but this year, I’ve been thinking so much about giving, that it’s made me blatantly aware of my own ignorance surrounding the holiday—and while I will abstain from making any direct commentary on Thanksgiving as a whole, as the afformentioned topic has been handled with far more care and grace than I could ever give, I do think it’s important to consider some of the roots of the holiday.
I don’t believe it is necessary to make a mockery of held tradition, or even a need to extradite held customs around the holiday, nor is it necessary to continue the narrative that past communities like the “Pilgrims and Indians,” were united in order to unify people today—but the values held around this holiday, like thankfulness, family, togetherness, unity, community, and giving, are values that can unite everyone.
Everywhere you celebrate in North America, and everywhere you go every day, you are on indigenous land, once cultivated and shared by a vibrant people group that is still around and just as vibrant today, then, maybe, consider shifting your traditions to honor that people group instead of ignoring their history.
What are some of your Thanksgiving traditions? Do you eat turkey, or are you a lasagna family like mine? Will you go out for Chinese food, like I will this year? Will you be shifting your “Pilgrims and Indian’s,” narrative? Leave a comment below, I’d love to hear your thoughts—and as always, thank you so much for liking, commenting, and subscribing.
I love you like I love shopping on Black Friday and having the last word, and that’s real love.