Wednesday, November 23, 2011
..the mere word instantly brings images to mind of the very first Thanksgiving celebrated so long ago. I see Pilgrims with clothes of homespun alongside leather clad Indians , combining the bounties of fields and forests on a cold November day. A celebration of survival after a very harsh year in a new world,freedom from persecution, freedom of religion. On this day, two very different peoples came together, respecting their unique differences, to celebrate as one,, grateful Americans..
The tradition has continued with each succeeding generation adding it's own special touch to the time honored traditions. Although different foods combine to make the meal,the basics remain the same.. a food laden table, family and friends gathering together to express their thanks for yet another year of survival in this often strange world..
Growing up in the south, Turkey was not on our menu..Ham was the center of attention, complemented by garden vegetables, crowned by scrumptious pies of Pecan and Sweet Potato.. there was ALWAYS plenty food for any and everyone.
I recall Daddy bought our first television in 1955,
but cannot remember the exact date of seeing the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Vivid memories of watching it while helping Mom prepare the dinner are quite strong.
After becoming a young married,we began our own traditions..which set of parents did we host..or whether to go to their homes to celebrate. Eventually, after the birth of our son,a solution worked itself out. leaving us a day to begin by watching the parade in the morning, and football games in the afternoon.culminating with an evening dinner at one of the parents homes.
Later , as a military spouse, I found myself far from home and very nostalgic. Holidays became even more important as they signified the link of love to home and family. On Thanksgiving, single service members were invited to join us to celebrate.
Food or drink could be contributed to our meal..
The one constant in this day was the joining of hands as we offered our prayer of thanks for another year of survival..and remembering loved ones no longer in our circle of hands..
Thanksgiving was also THE DATE to have Christmas cards and packages ready for mailing ..Shopping for me was done on the local economy, by CATALOG, or simply handmade..
Personally, I have no idea when and where the Black Friday shopping frenzy began, nor do I like the crass commercialization of the holidays beginning with Halloween, continuing through Christmas..
At our house, we celebrate each holiday for itself, no combining or overlapping.
(my sis Di,has a birthday on December 7,and as a child was given one gift " for her birthday AND Christmas" so we do NOT do any Christmas until after her birthday)
I much prefer the simpler times ,
and traditions..begun by family ..
Where experiencing the excitement of the season,and joy in the children's eyes and the peal of their laughter..as they truly believe..
from our house to yours..
we wish you the bounties of the season,blessings from above..
and the love of friends and family.. both near and far.
(all images courtesy Google/Norman Rockwell)
Linking to these parties..