Friday, October 8, 2010
I understand some of my friends across the pond don’t celebrate this holiday. Oh what they are missing!
I won't bore you with the history of thanksgiving origins, just a summary of how this day of celebration came to be. In Canada we attribute the first thanksgiving in 1578 to Frobisher who had been sailing the Arctic looking for the evasive Northwest Passage. His thanksgiving was for a safe homecoming; after having endured the arduous journey he held a feast for all.
In the United States the first thanksgiving has been attributed to the settlers at Plymouth Plantation in 1621. And over the years immigrants to both Canada and the United States have added their traditions and celebrations to Thanksgiving.
A time for celebrating the harvest, for gathering in the fruits of one’s hard labour; and for the settlers it was hard labour - clearing land, tilling and planting - growing with hand hewn implements, backbone, brawn and determination. A time to say thanks for the harvest and the support of friends and family; although the harvest was not sufficient to see many through the hard winter months ahead of them.
I am very thankful for these wondrous people in my life; and especially thankful my granddaughter will be in attendance. She writes her law entrance examinations that day; so I know she will be thankful by the time she arrives for dinner!
I have always asked those at my table what they were most thankful for – just in case anyone thought they were going to get away with a free ‘gorge’….no sir, I wanted to hear the ‘thanks’. I don’t believe Thanksgiving should be consigned to strictly eating. It has been interesting over the years the comments that were made - from prosperity during the past year, to improvement in health, to finding new friends, to sharing with family… and finally my eldest son who was always, always most thankful for the turkey and pumpkin pie; and still is! I believe we should be thankful every day, if only for having been given the chance of another day – but at least Thanksgiving brings this to the forefront of our mind.
It is with joy in my heart that I prepare our feast; it will include homemade pickles and relishes; all dishes made from scratch in my kitchen; prepared with love for those who will share. All are welcome to my table for Thanksgiving. And on this blog I give thanks to those of you who show tolerance for my blog and who have supported me throughout this year as I quest after producing my form of ‘art’.
Happy Thanksgiving whatever your heritage or religious affiliation; take time to celebrate a day of 'thanks'.