Thanksgiving: A Reflection

Thanksgiving in the USA has a rich history going back to William Bradford, the Pilgrims, and Chief Massasoit of the Wampanoag’s tribe. If only this friendly relationship between the Europeans and the Native Americans had continued, the American story would have been different.

For many Americans there are precious memories and family traditions associated with this national holiday. It is more than just the day before Black Friday.

I asked some university students their thoughts on Thanksgiving.  Here are their responses:

Thanksgiving is a day to spend time with your family and to be appreciative. It’s also a time to eat wonderful food and watch football.  In addition to all of this, Thanksgiving is a much needed break from school,” University student, basketball player and a future lawyer.

For me, Thanksgiving is a break from work and school, although I have done homework on Thanksgiving in the past.  Being away from home has made the day more special, since it will be an opportunity to see my parents, my sister, and my boyfriend.  I try to find something to be thankful for every day, because this helps me enjoy the blessings in my life on a regular basis, instead of saving it for one day. My favorite memory from Thanksgiving is about 10 years ago when it was a beautiful, unusually warm day in Southern Illinois. My family went on an afternoon-long bike ride after a traditional Romanian meal of grape leaf rolls and eggplant spread,” a MBA student.

Same every year—gets to be routine with being full and time away from class and school routines.  Who cares about corn?  I remember one Thanksgiving dressing up like hillbillies and surprising my aunt’s boyfriend’s family, asking for the possum that we smelled.  I won $2 on a lottery ticket.  We watched Charlie Brown and football,” an education major in Spanish and biology.

My best Thanksgiving memory was probably when our entire family came and we had to put an extra board on the table to fit everyone in! I also like watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” a theology major.

What are your Thanksgiving traditions and memories?  If you have children at your table what will they remember about this day when you are no longer present on this planet traversing the cosmos?

Hope you have a great day of family time, ample food and remember your blessings!  If you want an alternative to the turkey, a few references to vegetarian and vegan sites listed below.


G. D. Williams       © 2011


Chief Massasoit

Johnny Cash: Thanksgiving Prayer

Thanksgiving Medley

PARADE: In Pie We Trust recipes

Parade: Autumn Apple Pie

Eating Well recipes

Lemon-Dill Green Beans

Looking for an alternative to the “bird” as the centerpiece of your table?  Some vegetarian and vegan sites:

Huffington Post

Tess Challis: “vegan chef, author, wellness coach, & your new health bff

Spinach Strawberry Salad

The Vegetarian Dispatch