If we go back to the start of this annual celebration, we go back into our country’s history. If we are to acknowledge our history, we must recognize what is celebrated today as Thanksgiving for the good and the bad that comes from it. We’re not to say that Thanksgiving should be tarnished and discredited as it evolved into our country’s most beloved family tradition. However, overshadowing the truth behind this holiday makes it so controversial in today’s cultural consciousness.
The beauty of Thanksgiving comes from the American values as we know and adhere to them today. Family, togetherness, and warm memories shared around the dinner table are what the American family revolves around, and Thanksgiving is a time to appreciate what you have. The past may not always be forgotten. It might just be misinterpreted for generations. American families molded this tradition towards family values and away from the less tolerant events from our country’s past. It’s challenging to overcome historical facts and change centuries of tradition that has been passed on through generations of Americans and embraced by both generational Americans and those new to the American dream.
Brief History of Thanksgiving
From its simple beginnings to its more complicated past, all the way to how modern-day Americans celebrate it, there is nothing simple about this holiday. At first, it was a way to celebrate for the colonists, either beside the native inhabitants or for their subjugation of the native tribes. They gave prayers to God for blessing a victory battle or the end of the drought season. Thanksgiving isn’t simply defined. Thanksgiving became a national holiday in 1798, but not all states accepted it, even if they meant it to unify the country.
A Northern dominated federal government managed to promote the holiday. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it as such. Since then, we have celebrated Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November as a national holiday in the US. The historical and cultural roots and traditions of the holiday became more family-centered through secularization. Families across the country give thanks for the things they are grateful for. Many surround themselves with those they hold most dear to their hearts.
Encourage the Habit of Thanksgiving
The year 2021 seems stained and tainted for anyone to focus on giving thanks. It is the story of our times, but should we allow the Pandemic to pickpocket our right to appreciate the things we love? Of course not. American values surround the family, and we should not overlook family-oriented traditions. Instead, we should appreciate the things we have and cherish them to the fullest.
The most common effect surrounding the most beloved American holiday is excessive traveling. Families are brought together and reunited by the joy of celebrating. Families bring us both comfort and discord, but Thanksgiving focuses all our attention on cherishing the good in our lives. Traveling during a Pandemic has been difficult during the previous year. Still, we should look forward to the possibility of going back to our hometowns. We all want to embrace our families with limited restrictions.
Unfortunately, things aren’t as simple as we might have wanted them to be. The facts are that this Pandemic isn’t over, and we should still be responsible surrounding this holiday season. We all want to see our families and get a few days off work. However, being conscious of health liabilities is necessary.
Practicing Thanksgiving in 2021
Depending on our personal and religious beliefs, we celebrate Thanksgiving in various manners. You might include thanking God for the things you value in your life in your statement. You could also just want to enjoy your family’s company around a delicious-looking turkey. Regardless, giving thanks isn’t limited to material, immaterial or sentimental things. Whatever you are grateful for in your life should be celebrated.
Gather around those people or things you hold most dear and celebrate them. The most significant Thanksgiving tradition is the Turkey dinner. What better way to have all the family over? If you have a smart kitchen to help out, Thanksgiving dinner can become a less overwhelming ordeal. Appreciate the beauty that surrounds you and the time you have with your family. We all know how difficult these times are, but this day can be celebratory and safe for everyone involved. Your guests will enjoy the holiday if you ensure a certain level of health and safety measures. Buy some antibacterial wipes and give easy access to the bathroom for your guests. Vaccinations should still be a focus, so limit the guest lists to those who are vaccinated or tested. Another option would be to insist on masks or an outside gathering. Those don’t sound particularly fun.
It’s a time to count our blessings, not the number of seats at the table. Finances shouldn’t be a focus unless you invest in your family’s happiness or your own. For some, Thanksgiving can be a lonesome celebration where they cherish their life. Life might come with plenty of the hustle and bustle, but tons of reasons to appreciate it. From the smallest of things celebrated by Danes daily through Hygge, the Danish way to live well, to the biggest, most complex meanings of life. We can appreciate life as simply as saying “I’m thankful for being alive” or as heavy as “I’m grateful for the chance to turn my passion into a money-making business”. Anyone can find something to be thankful for.
Being Thankful should be more than just Thanksgiving
It isn’t simple to live in the modern world with all the comforts at our disposal. We can buy things from the comfort of our couch with a few taps on our phones. However, the modern lifestyle isn’t the best way to give thanks to everything that surrounds us. A better way would be to learn to celebrate the beauty of our world. Whether it’s the air we breathe or the ability to travel across the country with limited emissions, being thankful through the many ways in which we can cherish our planet and our way of life does a lot more than just saying thanks once a year.
In my opinion, we shouldn’t need one day every year to celebrate the good things that we have in our lives. We can make Thanksgiving a daily habit by simply cherishing the time we spend with our children in nature or by keeping our spendings environmentally friendly so that our children can still enjoy the life we have access to. Sometimes it’s as simple as ensuring we don’t throw anything in nature or as complicated as moving our business and finances towards more environmentally responsible companies. By checking the company’s values and environmental awareness statement, we can give thanks for the life we live through materially supporting the values that sustain our way of life.
Giving thanks shouldn’t be limited to the lives our children have but should include their future. All our future is in balance, and Thanksgiving can celebrate that in a way that promotes a cleaner tomorrow.
We all have plenty of things to give thanks to during this holiday. The Pandemic is still a current element of our lives but centering our celebration around something that brings no joy isn’t healthy. Give thanks for the extra time you get to spend with your families. Focus on the time you no longer have to waste on your commute every morning and afternoon. Maybe because you can work remotely, you relocate to a more financially comfortable place where your family life can thrive, and your children can have access to a better way of life. The quote “Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.” sums up the simplest fact of life. We can not appreciate the good without dealing with the bad.
Find the simple good things in your daily life to cherish, and, before you know it, you’ll wake up every morning with a smile on your face, living a much happier life. The breath in our lungs, the love in our hearts, and the warmth in our souls don’t get there through purchases but through perspective. A cup of coffee and a tasty treat nurtures our hearts, and the hug from our grandkids makes every moment of our lives better. Let us know in the comments below how you will be giving thanks during the 2021 Thanksgiving celebration. Like & Share this article with friends and family to let them know that you keep them in your thoughts regardless of the proximity between you.