Origin of Thanksgiving


Something a little different today as we look toward Thanksgiving tomorrow. I want to explore the origin of Thanksgiving and what it means today.

In 1621, the Mayflower pilgrims organized a feast with Native Americans they befriended. This feast is the first known “Thanksgiving” on record. It wasn’t called Thanksgiving by the pilgrims, however. Thanksgiving didn’t become what we know it today until George Washington proclaimed Thanksgiving a designated day.

While the colonies initially celebrated Thanksgiving on different days, Thanksgiving didn’t became a national holiday until 1863 when Abraham Lincoln scheduled Thanksgiving as the last Thursday in November. In 1939 during the Great Depression, FDR tried to move the holiday up a week in attempt to generate commercial sales, but the move was met with opposition, which resulted in FDR signing a bill declaring Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday in November. (Ironically, FDR’s hopes for spurring revenue for retail occur on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.)

The Macy’s parade is another central celebration of Thanksgiving that began in 1924. The parade, according to history.com, brings an in-person audience of 2-3 million people while drawing millions of television viewers.

The US president also traditionally “pardons” a turkey. Pardoning a turkey rescues the bird from being killed and allows it to be sent to a farm for “retirement.” This tradition dates back to the middle of the 20th century.

Modern-day Thanksgiving centers around cooking and expressing gratitude with family and friends. Turkey usually is a central meal piece during the holiday. Leading up to the holiday, many places hold food drives and offer complimentary meals for low-income families and the homeless.

So that’s your enlightening history of Thanksgiving. Enjoy eating your birds and remember to give thanks for what you have.

Your story is not over yet. ;

For years I’d been wanting to get a semicolon tattoo ever since I’d been introduced to the Semicolon Project. Not only am I a grammar nerd but I also love what the semicolon represents on a deeper level.

What’s the Semicolon Project?

The Semicolon Project was founded by Amy Bleuel in an effort to combat suicide and raise awareness about suicide. While Amy unfortunately succumbed to taking her own life, her work lives on.

Why does the Semicolon Project resonate with me?

I’ve been dealing with suicidal problems since I was 12. I remember being fascinated with a knife in the middle of the night, daring myself to either slit my wrists or plunge it through my abdomen. I did neither of those things at the time but it kicked off a lifelong obsession with death and taking my own life.

Suicide has always seemed to be the answer to everything. Are kids making fun of me? If I jump off the balcony, that’ll end that. Is work going terribly? Walking into oncoming traffic will solve that issue. Have my emotions plunged into the abyss of nothingness, never to resurface? Well, why don’t I just bring my physical self to where my emotions already are?

Enter the semicolon.

I tried explaining the meaning of the semicolon to my therapist who simply thought I got the tattoo because I love grammar so much. That’s the surface reason; but I love the fact that there’s a deeper meaning to it that reflects who I am.

What did I try telling my therapist?

A semicolon joins 2 complete thoughts. What really could’ve been a period, indicating finality, is replaced by a semicolon, which represents an interruption—a brief pause in the middle of a story.

Consider the placement of the semicolon. The first thought is complete and can stand alone. If someone wanted to, they could end their story (that first thought) right there. But the semicolon indicates that there’s more to the story—there’s more to come. A semicolon represents a “blip,” if you will, in the middle of the sentence. The sentence (like my life) could’ve ended there but it didn’t. The semicolon means that my story can continue, that the second half of the story (the second complete thought) can happen before a final ending (the period).

My story will end eventually (period), but the semicolon reminds me that I don’t have to be the one to end it. That I can continue my story. That whatever I’m going through is only a blip—an interruption—and that there’s more to come.

I suppose I suck at the layman’s terms for this. Basically it means “your story isn’t over.”

I’ve been feeling very lazy the past couple of weeks. First, I was all hyped up to start my blog and get back into writing. Now, I find it exhausting to generate content. Most of the time, I don’t even want to write let alone read. I am blogging right now through sheer force of will. (And by the power of the WordPress app.)

My pregnancy test is Wednesday and I have no idea how it’s going to go. I’m having weird symptoms but it COULD or COULD NOT mean that I’m pregnant. I guess we will see.

My vacation from work starts Monday and ends on the following Monday. While I love what I do, I’m looking forward to taking a break for a while.

I’m dealing with some terrible heartburn lately. Thank God antacids are safe for pregnant women.

Trying a new church tomorrow and bringing my son along. Let’s see what happens…

Friday Feeling

I haven’t felt like writing recently. I’ve been in such a fog. Feeling lazy and unmotivated. What can I say that doesn’t involve me explaining why the Eagles suck this season?

Things have been steady and neutral. My son’s behavior isn’t as troublesome at school and work isn’t driving me nuts (at the moment).

Wednesday I find out the results of my pregnancy test. Hoping, wishing, and praying for a positive outcome.

App Review: Laundry Day

Laundry Day is a very basic app but incredibly useful when you’re ignorant to what different laundry symbols mean. Don’t remember what that circle means? Laundry Day can help with that!

It’s not an app I use often but it’s one that I find indispensable, especially after buying new clothing.

Laundry Day has a scanner that, when placed over a tag of laundry symbols, will recognize them and define them for you. No more trying to figure out how the heck to wash your clothing!

Symbols defined include washing, bleaching, drying, ironing, and professional care.

If you need more info and tips, Laundry Day has you covered. With a Tips and Tricks section, you’ll be guided through the steps to launder a perfect (err, dirty?) load.

There’s also a section on How to Use Your Washing Mashine appropriately, and Common Clothing Materials, such as cotton, silk, and velvet, and how to best wash each material.

There truly is an app for everything.