Thanksgiving break is rapidly approaching, which means quite a few different things. The student body will be having a long weekend off to relax, lots of people will be spending time with their families, plenty of shopping deals will spring up, and there will be a chance to fill up on home-cooked meals. When looking at a broad overview, it sounds like pretty good deal.
However, according to USA Today, the true story of the first Thanksgiving can be traced back to over 400 years ago. While it is true that there was an alliance formed between the pilgrims and the Wampanoag sharing food and an allyship, it ended with a violation of agreements and brutality that eventually led to King Philip’s War. This was the deadliest war to take place on American Soil until the Civil War, but is still considered to be the bloodiest war per capita in U.S. history.
The fact that it still told in schools as a peaceful friendship is incredibly misleading. America is notorious for white-washing its history in order to make it more appealing. While some may insist that “woke” people are trying to be divisive, they completely miss the importance of honesty, even when it is unnatractive. Retelling this version of history continues to create misunderstanding and a lack of compassion. Since we cannot change the past, acknowledging its existence is vital.
I am not saying that I am against Thanksgiving as an idea, however. Coming together to be with friends and family and celebrating things that you are thankful for is a beautiful thing, especially with the state of the world today. Celebrating what we have and what we are looking forward to is incredibly important as well. Focus on gratitude, but do not forget the origins of the holiday.
Looking past the ideas and values behind the holiday, I am still struck by how overrated the whole thing is. It’s such a random holiday that feels as though its main purpose is to microdos the winter holidays in December. We love having a random Thursday off to be thankful for what you have, only to turn around and fight people inside of a Walmart to get a discounted TV that you don’t need the next day.
In the vein of family dynamics, I am also not looking forward to arguing over my political stances with extended family members that I see twice a year. With the recent election behind us, I already know that the dinner conversation is going to drive me up a wall. The only thing that makes it all bearable is the food. While I enjoy my family’s cooking, I will be honest when I say that I really do not care for turkey. I am more of a ham and potatoes type of person, which I will be loading up on. When it comes down to it, I am mostly looking forward to bringing my Tupperware containers back to campus and lounging in my bed for the rest of break.