Dirt, a school teacher (college level, no summers off), often has holidays like Veterans' Day and Independence Day where he may have to still go in to school for the day in between the holiday and the weekend. So it gets me to thinking, why is Thanksgiving different. And it must be different for many people otherwise why is Thanksgiving the heaviest travel day?
I came to the conclusion years ago that even though the fourth Thursday in November was set aside as the official holiday, back in the recesses of our collective minds is the historical fact that the original Thanksgiving was a three day, or more long feast.
The most detailed description of the "First Thanksgiving" comes from Edward Winslow from A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, in 1621:
"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, among other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed upon our governor, and upon the captain, and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."
Did you know that lobster, seal and swans were on the Pilgrims' menu?
So with this in mind we try to do our best to uphold the historical manner of giving thanks to our Creator and Sustainer, God our Father in heaven on an American feast day called Thanksgiving. I'm not sure what today holds for our celebration, preparation for the culmination of this feast season and the beginning of the Advent season. I will be visiting at least one of my daughters briefly, picking up some more lights, and perhaps we will have the main seafood course of our feast tonight.
We don't mind at all combining the Advent season in with the Thanksgiving season, I can't imagine a better combination, thanksgiving prior to the acknowledgement of the time before our Savior came. Which leads up to the season of reenactment, acknowledgement that Christ most definitely came; at a certain time, in a certain place, in a certain manner, in order to save us; in order to free us, in order to open the way for us, in order to send the Holy Spirit, the Comforter and Teacher.
But this is quickly encroaching on another post. Suffice it to say that we love this season of Thanksgiving and we are thankful for the history of the first American celebration of thanksgiving to our Provider that gives us the freedom to celebrate on more than one afternoon. We are thankful that Thanksgiving is not over at nine o'clock on Thursday, that we can continue to celebrate with those who couldn't get together on the "official" day. We are thankful that we can have the new traditional food on one day and then have some really traditional food on another day and some new but very appropriate food for us on yet another. Hurray for Sunday, Hurray for leg of lamb.
I really hope, dear reader, that you too are taking advantage of the true nature of feasts and especially this one. I hope that you are taking advantage of the original length of this feast so that there is not a crash and let down when one afternoon isn't quite enough to make it what it ought to be.
I hope that just because you may have to go into your place of employment for all or any of these days, that you do not use it as a reason that you can't celebrate on those days. Another lesson from my mom and another post, about how even on days we celebrate we can and often still need to "work." Work doesn't nullify celebration.
But for me, heck I'm just down right thankful for an excuse to keep the party going!!!!!