Much like the story that Christopher Columbus discovered America, the story of the first Thanksgiving is a tale that was taught in history classes to increase nationalism. Christopher Columbus never set foot in North America — the closest he made it was the West Indies. The first Thanksgiving was more of a traditional harvest festival rather than a celebration of surviving their first winter. They were about to enter winter when the ‘first Thanksgiving’ was celebrated. The relationship between the native population and the pilgrims could be described as having been rocky at best.
Unknowingly the pilgrims set precedence for what America would become. The fact that the pilgrims stole food from the Native population is beside the point. Thanksgiving is a great American tradition. Personally I am thankful to live in America. Although the American government has not been the most brutal in history, it has its fair share of past indiscretions. Personally I disagree with many of the actions taken by the government – many have been wrong — but I am still proud to be an American.
Those who claim that Thanksgiving is an arbitrary holiday do not fully understand the traditions of the American people. The tradition of America is to look out for number one. That is exactly what the pilgrims did. Looking back, the majority of decisions made by the American government support this theory. The white man dominating hierarchal government tradition, while extremely wrong, is what America has traditionally been.
Like most American holidays, Thanksgiving has become another commercialized tradition. But that is the beauty of this holiday. We can celebrate gluttony and laziness while hiding behind pretence of commemorating the pilgrim’s survival of their first winter. I don’t know about you but I feel extremely grateful that I am given this opportunity. With all of the famine in the world, I am thankful for the chance to have a valid excuse to eat until I can’t eat anymore, then eat some more and not feel guilty about it. So eat up, and have a very happy Thanksgiving.