by Katherine Reilly
One of the most beloved festivals in America which has become almost as popular as Christmas, is Thanksgiving. Celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November – not the last as believed by most – Thanksgiving is a day when one finds schools closed as well as businesses and government offices. But what exactly are we celebrating?
Most of you have heard the story. Pilgrims had arrived to their new land having traveled across the Atlantic Ocean. The conditions were horrible as they had reached their destination during winter. After many failed attempts at building a new settlement and having survived the harsh winter, they had the fortune of meeting the Native Americans and specifically one named Squanto.
Squanto taught the newcomers how to overcome difficulties, by showing them ways to catch fish and harvest. His contribution was a deciding factor to their survival as the new pilgrim settlement thrived. The pilgrims in turn, decided to honor their native friends and show their appreciation by organizing a hardy feast.
Before feasting, they thanked the Lord for his help and dedicated this day of appreciation to family, friends and to the well-being of all.
Centuries later, Thanksgiving is still celebrated and it is a time to remember what is important in life… Family.
Of course, some people think of Thanksgiving as an opportunity to enjoy well-prepared delicacies and stuffed Turkey, but to me it had a deeper meaning.
As a child, I never got to see my father much as he was working round the clock with little rest. Despite everything, he was always there for me when it counted. During birthdays, Christmas and of course, Thanksgiving.
No matter how tired he was, he would always leave work just for a few hours to be with his beloved family. For me, that was the most precious gift I could have ever asked for.
So, if you ask me what the ‘real’ meaning of Thanksgiving is, I’d say it’s the precious time we have with our loved ones. NEVER take for granted what little time we have with the people who have stood by our side, be it family or friends. Cherish every moment you have with them and never hesitate to express your love to them.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone. May this day find you in good health and fortune.