In 1621, the pilgrims and Native Americans met in Plymouth, Massachusetts, to have what is now known as the first Thanksgiving. The infamous meal represented the unity of two opposites and started what would become America as we know it today, a melting pot and community of different cultures.
Yet what people might not know is that it wasn’t made an official holiday until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that a national Thanksgiving would be held each November.
In the eyes of a typical student, Thanksgiving is seen as a free vacation, with the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the Black Friday afterwards off. It’s a nice break from school before the inevitable mountain of work teachers will squeeze in before winter break. Furthermore, to some this holiday might seem like just a road block to get to what we all look forward to: Christmas.
The feast in Plymouth, Massachusetts might be known as the first Thanksgiving, but what people might not know is that it wasn’t made an official holiday until 1863, when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that a national Thanksgiving would be held each November. And he did this for a reason. Like the pilgrims did when they first came to the New World, Thanksgiving is meant to bring people together. Although spending a day with your extended family and in-laws doesn’t sound ideal, that is what Thanksgiving is all about. Accepting your differences. Yes, that means forcibly laughing when that one uncle tells a cringe-y joke. Or hugging your grandma who hugs just a little too hard.
This Thanksgiving, appreciate who the people are around your table, no matter how crazy or annoying they might be. Thanksgiving is probably the only time of the year where your whole family will be together, and that is something to celebrate by itself.
Some might not be in love with the idea of all their family sitting at one table, in all their glory. But Thanksgiving is more than that. At its core, Thanksgiving is a coming together of your loved ones, and that is something no one should take for granted.