When I was fifteen years old, I went on my first mission trip to the former Soviet Union. We spent two weeks in Belarus and Moscow. Part of our program was to go to different schools and show pictures of our every day lives and explain what life was like for us as American teenagers. One of my pictures was of my family celebrating Thanksgiving. The first time it was my turn to speak, I was very, very nervous. I wanted to make sure I spoke slowly enough for the students to understand me and I was afraid of leaving out important details. I should have been more worried about giving false information…
When I got to the Thanksgiving picture I was on a bit of a roll but was still dealing with my nerves. As I spoke about Thanksgiving, suddenly our leaders and interpreters in the back of the room started laughing. As I went on, I noticed them laughing more and more visibly. After the program was over, I came over to them, wondering what on earth I’d said that was so hysterical. Apparently, my explanation of Thanksgiving was this:
“This is a picture of my family celebrating Thanksgiving. In America, we celebrate Thanksgiving to remember…the…pilgrims landing, um, on earth. So we get together and have a big meal together…”
Seriously? The pilgrims landing on earth? That was my first legitimate and real blonde moment. I’ve only had a handful of those in my lifetime, most between the ages of 15 and 20. Needless to say, I have never lived that down. People still bring it up – namely my parents.
So here I am, much older and wiser. So to comemorate my wisdom and the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, here is a brief history of Thanksgiving:
*In 1621, the colonists of Plymouth and the Wapanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest. Gathering together for a large feast, everyone pitched in to prepare the meal. Historians can’t say for sure what foods were actually consumed during the feast, but they know that venison and wild fowl were on the list due to journal records. *
Gathering to give thanks for the harvest was actually a longstanding tradition with the colonists, and there are several recorded events that took place before the 1621 meeting. Nevertheless, the feast of 1621 has long been acknowledged as the first official Thanksgiving and it is this meeting that we celebrate yearly. We celebrate to thank our Maker for the blessings He has bestowed upon us, for the way that He has provided, for the bounty that we are all blessed to share. And we thank Him that the pilgrims landed on earth…
*For more information go to this website.