For school today we read a little bit about the first Thanksgiving. And about the history of Thanksgiving Day in general. We decided that the particular book we read was not terribly fun to read, although it did have a lot of information in it. In fact, we discovered quite a bit about harvest festivals versus days of thanksgiving and how the Thanksgiving moniker got paired with the behavior of a harvest festival. And also, how the Civil War gave birth to Thanksgiving as we know it. All good things to know.
But the thing that I grabbed hold of was the idea of a day of thanksgiving. These days of thanks used to be celebrated whenever there was something worth giving thanks over. Like a battle won, or a plague averted, or a bumper crop. That kind of thing. And while I truly believe that we can, and should, live in thanksgiving daily, I also love the idea of having a family tradition to celebrate whenever there is something worth taking time to take a break and give some serious thanks. Like mastering a new skill or conquering a fear or making a new friend.
We celebrate these things, of course. But as days of thanksgiving? Not so much. And yet I like that idea. I like it a lot. Now I just need to come up with an appropriate way to celebrate. A full-on turkey-centered feast seems not only a little excessive, but also more harvest-festivalish, less day-of-thanksish. I’m thinking more of a serve-in-the-community-then-go-out-for-pizza kind of a deal.
How would you celebrate those days where thanks are in order?