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Anita Richard: Thanksgiving

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Poor Thanksgiving – always outshone by the exaggerated festivities of All Hallow’s Eve and the quick-to-follow preparation for Christmas. Thanksgiving is often overlooked, simply a place-holder for the jolly jubilee that is to come. I, however, want to take the time to express my appreciation for all that Thanksgiving has to offer.

Like any good relationship, this holiday is rich with a dramatic history. After a long and hard journey, the Puritans finally made it to Plymouth Rock, where they would join hands with the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Native Americans in a celebration of the bountiful harvest. Although Governor Winthrop had reason to be concerned about the clash of the non-Separatist Puritans at Plymouth and the Separatist Pilgrims at Massachusetts Bay … does anyone even care? The important thing to remember is that even in the face of conflict, one meal can really bring people together. Let’s put it this way: the table was not the only thing getting laid on this historic day. And you have to admire the dedicated curiosity of those who came to explore this New World. This year, I’m looking to follow their lead by stealing your land and claiming it as my own.

Since this first recorded Thanksgiving in 1623, the holiday has evolved to include more than just a meal. Perhaps you prefer to celebrate by catching a few rivalry football games, or fighting off the crowds on your early morning shopping spree, but I like to focus on the food and the people you enjoy the food with.

To satisfy your heightened appetite, I have something for you to gobble on. But before you jump into the first course, you’ll need to give me your full attention–the most tasty dishes require quite some time to prepare. I can help, but it has to be a joint effort. You mash my potatoes; I cream your corn; you stuff my turkey. You get the point. So long as we end with a piece of pumpkin pie with some whipped cream–especially if it’s whipped by hand–we will have made something beautiful.

But beyond the food, the shopping, and the football, this holiday is ultimately about giving thanks. This year, I will give thanks for my family, my friends, and a week away from the hustle and bustle of the classroom. I will give thanks for my one night stands, for my memories made and forgotten, and show my appreciation to everyone who has touched my life.

On this Thanksgiving, get stuffed on more than just dinner. And don’t be afraid to go back for seconds, even if they are a little sloppy. Give this holiday a chance. Join me in giving thanks for what we have been given. Let’s give it to each other.

 

Find Anita Richard at The Daily’s office.

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