The schools I attended as a child had always taught us that Thanksgiving was the result of the Pilgrims celebration with the Native Americans at Plymouth in Massachusetts. In reality the holiday dates back to the Protestant and English Reformations, which were then carried over to the United States, as most traditions are, in an attempt to eliminate Church holidays, and so coined Days of Fasting and Days of Thanksgiving. This was a bit of an eye-opener for me as I was never privy to this historical information, thank you Google. It makes perfect sense the tradition would derive from England and be adopted primarily by Canada and the U.S.
It’s possible school had taught me the correct history of the holiday, but as a child you tend to focus on the more poignant images, like Pilgrims arriving on Native American land and slaughtering innocents all for a turkey dinner. And I’m not saying that didn’t happen, as more than likely it did by more than one group of emigrants. Though, looking back, so much blood has been shed in the shadows of holidays – Christianity (the horror of the Spanish Inquisition) and Christmas, Valentine’s Day (anything associated with Christian martyrs involved violence of some sort) and Easter (the resurrection of a corpse). I’m glad that nowadays most of us focus on the positive memories of get-togethers and not so much the events leading up to them.
When I think of Thanksgiving, I recall the first time I tried to cook a turkey. I forgot about the plastic bag of innards and baked it all day. And struggling to untie the cold-skinned bastard and remove the neck. It was like a holiday episode of Mr. Bean or Christmas Vacation. While both situations that could only be quelled with alcohol, they are quite funny in hindsight and give me a smile when thinking of the holidays. I’m still surprised I haven’t hung myself with Christmas lights from the frustration of decorating bushes and fences in below zero temperatures.
In the end, we have the forefathers to thank for these holidays, which I think over time have improved in spirit. Thanksgiving is great, but I love Christmas the most. Even at my age, I still think sitting on Santa’s lap is okay.
Get Zombie Bastard from Jerrod Balzer and Skullvines Press and witness the undead that refuse to die.
Buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GSGHNR8