stupid question about thanksgiving

  1. This should probably get stupid question of the week but........

    I am really unclear as to what thanksgiving is all about!!! ok said it was stupid! so while I hang my head in shame, would someone please explain it to me!

    we must have done in it in history at school but I dont remember- too old!

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    About karenG

    Joined: Aug '02; Posts: 2,516; Likes: 154
    nurse practitioner in general practice
    Specialty: midwifery, ophthalmics, general practice


  3. by   PennyLane
    Er...I believe it was pretty much made up-as in, this never happened exactly this way, but SUPPOSEDLY (and I hope I remember this correctly from 3rd grade) on the third Thursday of November of whatever year, the pilgrims and the Native Americans (of what tribe, I don't know) had a huge feast together. Many turkeys were killed and eaten, and the Native Americans showed us how to make popcorn. A splendid time was had by all.

    That's the nuts and bolts of it. But I don't think many of us really use the day to reflect on the pilgrims and native americans. Really, the way we took this land away from them p***es a lot of us off! Instead, it's a day when we give thanks for all good things we have in our lives- friends, family, good food, health, etc... It's my favorite holiday.

    Anyway, if you're British, it's not a big deal if you don't know about an American holiday!
  4. by   aimeee
    Hey, that's ok! I can never remember quite what the story is on Guy Fawke's Day, either!

    Basically its a harvest dinner, a time to gather with those who are dear to us and be thankful for all that we are blessed with.
  5. by   Gomer
    It's a reason to start gorging oneself until New Years Day when one makes a resolution to loose all the weight one gained between Thanksgiving and Christmas. (With some of us this period really begins with Halloween.)
  6. by   Q.
    I just look at it as a time for being with family. My husband and I each year for Thanksgiving, drive up to the family farm and have dinner in the old farmhouse - all 30 of us with gramma and grampa who are 86 years old. Everyone brings their dog (so this will be Fattie's first trip) and he gets to meet the OTHER dog named Phattie in the family.

    After that, we go to this beautiful Christmas tree farm, have hot chocolate and cut down our Christmas tree, load up with firewood, and drive back home. Then we have Thanksgiving again with MY family.

  7. by   Vsummer1
    Thanksgiving, like almost every other holiday we celebrate, was yet another pagan holiday. Based around a fruitful harvest and giving thanks to the deity (whatever god / goddess it was eons ago) who blessed them with the gift of the harvest.

    The nice little story the religious puritans used to justify it is that the pilgrims were starving, and the nice indians came to help by bringing food thus saving the colony (we were brits misplaced by religion back then). The colony returned the favor by later killing most of the indians.

    My, sounds bad doesn't it???
  8. by   LasVegasRN
    Susy, that sounds beautiful!

    Mel D and Gomer hit it on the nose. Thanksgiving is a HUGE feast in our family. The tradition has been that before and after dinner, the eldest family members tell stories about our history and ancestral roots. Some of the stories are funny, some of them are sad. The point of it is to always know where we came from and to be thankful for what we have and who we are today.

    Then 90% of us fall asleep on the couch or recliner.
  9. by   Vsummer1
    Ooops... I forgot. Modern day celebrants of this holiday generally gather around to gorge themself silly. Of course, the TV is on because it is a big day for football too.

    Usually turkey is served, which is high in L tryptophan (how DO you spell that?) so after everyone finishes eating it they end up passing out before they go back for another round of gorging.

    I have very fond memories of my brother passed out in the recliner in front of the TV. He passes out just long enough for the first round of food to empty some space so he can then have 3 different kinds of pie. This process is repeated throughout the day / evening with alternating pie / turkey and trimmings stages.

    In between his snoring and the football anouncer announcing, the rest of the family tries valiantly to stay awake so they can laugh at my brother snoring.
  10. by   Lausana
    I love gathering for Thanksgiving! Tons of food and pies, and birthday cake-lots of birthdays in late Oct, Nov, and early Dec. Normally we always gather at my grandparents, but since Grandma passed last month we will be going to Kentucky this year instead to spend it with Grandma's family. I can't wait I really enjoy visiting there & it just wouldn't be right to be in Grandma's kitchen without her! So there will be eating, eating, game watching, snoozing, eating...oh and baby cuddling, there's a new one down there I can't wait to snatch!

    We used to the spend a day with my step-family, but they don't like to bother anymore, lol, we also didn't celebrate Christmas together for the past couple yrs it's just too much work I think they may have forgotten the meaning of the!

    We don't put up the Christmas decorations and tree on Thanksgiving...Mom's will go up on Halloween night after trick-or-treating :chuckle and mine sometime around then when I have time...yes, we're freaks! But they're just too beautiful to wait
  11. by   Stargazer
    My mom's side of the family has an intimate little get-together with 40 - 50 or so of our relatives. It is LOUD, chaotic and loads of fun! It's the only time of year I get to see many of these relatives.

    Every other year is referred to as a "locust year", when another 30 or so relatives who live waaay out of state make the trip as well. As this year is a locust year, I think my aunt (who normally hosts this little shindig) is finally going to make good on her threat to have this year's get-together at a banquet facility at the local college. She and my uncle have put TWO additions on their house since the annual festivities were moved to their place, and we've already outgrown it!
  12. by   stressedlpn
    I confess I really and truelly dont get into thanksgiving all that much, since mom died we have all kinda scattered and get toghter at christmas, I always volunter to work so I can have christmas off, my family does get toghter and eat the sunday following thanksgiving, this way we are not all running to in-laws and can spend the whole day toghter.
  13. by   CATHYW
    Well, the traditional story was begun, but not finished, exactly. The Pilgrims who came to America and landed in what would later be known as the Massachusetts Colony would have starved to death, if it had not been for the help of Native American Indians. They were taught how to fish the waters in their area, and how to plant corn fertilized with one fish in each hill to fertilize the corn as it grew. The Indians also introduced them to pumpkins, squashes, and other native foods.
    When harvest time came the Pilgrims invited the Indians, who had helped them, to share in their harvest meal. They offered thanks to God for bringing them through a dealy winter, and for the friendship and help of the Indians. George Washington tried to establish the first national holiday known as Thanksgiving, but it didn't take hold. It wasn't until 1865, that President Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November to be Thanksgiving.
    For more, see:
  14. by   Vsummer1
    CathyW... you told it more PC than I did, and with a lot of better information