Thanksgiving: the true meaning behind the forgotten tradition

When the month of November rolls around, everyone gets excited about the Thanksgiving holiday. Most people focus on all the mediocre luxuries and overlook the value and meaning of why Thanksgiving is even considered a holiday.

As a society, we are so highly influenced by what we see that our judgment is thrown off and easily persuaded. One example would be retail stores that advertise the Thanksgiving holiday with symbols that “represent” the holiday.

Decorations of turkeys, fall leaves and pilgrims hang in stores to welcome the holiday of thanks. Grocery stores join in on this and mark down the prices of Thanksgiving favorites like turkey, stuffing, green beans, cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes, and so on. These things are done to emphasize the meaning of this traditional holiday, but not done to represent thanks.

There is nothing wrong with tradition, but tradition becomes irrelevant when the meaning of something is forgotten. People are caught up in the food, sales and the representation of Thanksgiving that the true meaning of why Thanksgiving is even celebrated becomes a thing of the past.

Society has become more consumed with fitting the mood of Thanksgiving more so than the history and values of the day. Thanksgiving should be honored just as any other holiday and not just a day to eat good food and watch television. Just like shooting fireworks is a representation of the Fourth of July to celebrate America gaining its independence—Thanksgiving is of no less importance; it is the day for thanks to be given.

The first Thanksgiving was in Plymouth Colony, which is in present day Massachusetts, in 1621. President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving centuries later.

Congress made Thanksgiving Day an official national holiday in 1941.

This means the national recognition of Thanksgiving as a holiday is only a few decades old. When things turned around it was only right for “Days of Thanksgiving”. Thus bringing the reason and meaning of why thanksgiving is celebrated.

November 27, 2014 and every last Thursday that will follow is a day that would be for giving thanks to the harvest of the past year under previous conceptions.

There are many traditions carried out as the day gets closer, but the most important aspect of the holiday is to give thanks. It is a time to show one’s appreciation as well as a time to come together with one another as generations before have done.

According to history, the first Thanksgiving was not perfect, but the chance to come together and thanks was close enough.

There is nothing wrong with Black Friday shopping or the preparation of the classic Iron Bowl game; it just adds to the growing tradition of Thanksgiving.

Vallean Jackson
Staff Writer

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