There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding the people responsible for the American Thanksgiving tradition.
Contrary to popular opinion, the Pilgrims didn't wear buckles on their shoes or hats. They weren't saints and perfect citizens, either. They smoked tobacco and drank beer. And, most importantly, their first harvest festival and subsequent "thanksgivings" weren't held to thank the local natives for saving their lives.
Today I heard that there was a school district in the San Diego area that was blocking the children' s celebration of Thanksgiving because it offended some native American Indians.
It seems that the children for years had made costumes of the Pilgrims and Indians, making costumes out of paper and stuff, feathers and paint, and had been doing this for many years, but this year one of the parents decided that it offended them.
The principal of the school didn't have the huevos to say that they were keeping the tradition and buckled under and stopped the participation of the children' s annual acting out of the event.
So, it was offensive to someone that children were play acting as Indians and were going to celebrate the feast of the bounty and freedom of our founding fathers.
Yet, there is no way to divorce the spiritual from the celebration of Thanksgiving – at least not the way the Pilgrims saw it, a tradition dating back to the ancient Hebrews and their feasts of Succoth and Passover.
The Pilgrims came to America for one reason – to form a separate community in which they could worship God as they saw fit. They had fled England because King James I was persecuting those who did not recognize the Church of England's absolute civil and spiritual authority.
Now it seems that someone is offended at the depiction of history.
When the Pilgrims landed in the New World, they found a cold, rocky, barren, desolate wilderness.
No one was there to greet them, there were no inns or resorts, no restaurants where they could grab a meal, it was not easy. The first winter half of them died (not passed) of sickness and malnutrition.
Life got a little better for them the next spring but they didn't really prosper and because everything then was communal. Socialism at it's finest!
Things only turned around when they became truly free. Their ability to grow and prosper only because of natural motivation to success and make life better than before for themselves and their families.
Let us take the time to stop and ponder exactly why we offer thanks, thanks for the ability to honor our God, thank that we have so much, and thank that we are able to survive better than our ancestors did. They are the true heroes that we should also thank for they left the old world in hope of new beginnings, something that we often forget.
Don't forget to remember that we have so many things to be thankful for, be greatful and do not forget.
Here there is no formal celebration of the day, so this give you a chance to be grateful every day when the sun comes up and you get to see it!