Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Why I Love Thanksgiving
I am all about holidays. Absolutely love them. Decorating for them, celebrating them. Bryan is exactly the opposite and if we lived the whole year through without acknowledging a single holiday or birthday...he wouldn't care or probably even notice. But that's okay. Because I am festive enough for the both of us.
My favorite holiday, though, is a more understated and simple holiday. It's Thanksgiving. Which means I'm rather a stickler about Christmas decor and it's non-appearance in our house until at least the day after all of the feasting and thankfulness.
Why is it my favorite? I'm not entirely sure. It's certainly not as flashy as Christmas or as frenetic as Halloween. But maybe that's a big part of it. Thanksgiving seems cozy to me. It's all about family and food. And being thankful for both, among other things. When else do you spend a whole month recognizing and then dwelling on your blessings? I think it's cathartic....really bringing in to focus what life is really about.
But also, Thanksgiving is steeped in American history. And being the history geek that I am, I love the origins of the holiday....the Mayflower, Plymouth Rock, Pilgrims and Indians. And to make things even more exciting, I actually come from some serious Pilgrim stock. My 9th great-grandfather on my father's side was present at that very first Thanksgiving. Resolved White, born to William White and Susanna Fuller, came across the ocean from Holland on the Mayflower when he was about 5 years old. His younger brother, Perigrine, was the first baby born in the new settlement...actually on the ship while still moored in the bay. Resolved's father, William, died that first winter...one of the nearly half (45 of 102) who did. His mother Susanna, soon after remarried...another Pilgrim named Edward Winslow. Resolved went on to eventually marry and have 8 children....one of which, of course, my genealogy comes through. And maybe this doesn't sound very exciting to you, but I absolutely LOVE that I have Pilgrim ancestors! It makes Thanksgiving all that much more special.
These are a few of the reasons why I make sure that Thanksgiving gets it's full due. That it is more than just a big feast to usher in Black Friday and Christmas. We're heading to Bryan's parents house tomorrow to spend the day with his siblings and all the little cousins. I can't wait!