Skip to comments.Thanksgiving: Reflection, food, thanks ... and Dallas Cowboys
Posted on 11/20/2007 5:37:31 PM PST by fgoodwin
Thanksgiving: Reflection, food, thanks ... and Dallas Cowboys
November 20, 2007
Thanksgiving is the time of year when we sit back, smell the turkey, stuff ourselves with too much good food and then reflect on the good things that have happened to our families in the last year. Basically, we give thanks for the small and large successes we have enjoyed during the year, just as the pilgrims did.
Thanksgiving Day as national holiday wasn't celebrated at Plymouth Rock, as lore would have it, but over 200 years later when President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November national holiday in 1863. There were several one-time celebrations declared by every president, including George Washington, prior to that, but ol' Abe was the one who made it permanent.
The fourth Thursday of November was finally picked as the Thanksgiving holiday by President Franklin Roosevelt and ratified by Congress in 1941 in deference to the retailers who thought that they needed the extra weeks before Christmas to help their bottom lines.
Today, of course, the retail world begins hawking its Christmas wares long before Thanksgiving meals are even planned!
In the good old days, families gathered to exchange stories, reminisce about the year and plan for next year's gathering. There were football games, but not on TV because there wasn't any yet, only the squealing of children as they played after the meal, some homespun music and the casual conversation of the adults as they watched their kids.
In northern climates, the leaves had turned to brilliant yellows, oranges and reds and snow was starting to fall in many places. This holiday meant that fall had fallen and a long winter was about to begin.
There is a faction in America that would like to do away with all of our traditional holidays like Thanksgiving. They think that traditions like these should not be honored and since we have such a large melting pot of nationalities in the United States, it would be wrong to continue these traditions.
Let's reflect on why we have this holiday in the first place. Thanksgiving wasn't about celebrating the conquering of a new land, it was about a celebration of the harvest of crops produced by people who had freed themselves from an oppressive government. Both native landsmen and the new arrivals shared those meals long ago and celebrated together.
It is important for new arrivals in our land to understand the significance of this celebration. They, too, are freeing themselves from some sort of oppression and their first Thanksgiving should celebrate both their newly found freedom and the harvest from a free market society.
I wish that some of those people who constantly seek to dismantle the American way would just take a deep breath and quit telling the rest of us how to live our lives.
In Lompoc, we should give thanks for the hundreds of our fellow citizens in scores of church groups and service clubs that donate their time and resources to helping keep our community the neighborly place that it is. We should give thanks for the climate that produces a healthy place to live, the farmers and ranchers that produce our food and all those friendly faces in the places we shop and dine.
Thanksgiving is too important a holiday to simply eliminate in the name of political correctness. After all, this celebration is filled with precious memories of heaps of food, piles of dirty dishes, a comfortable easy chair and the Dallas Cowboys.
Ron Fink is a longtime Lompoc resident and a community activist.
If you do not like Dallas, then there is Detroit Lions, in which a former UConn football Huskie, Dan Olansky is on the Lions team. I just wish they would play him for a change, he is good. Happy Thanksgiving.