This year marks the 400th Thanksgiving! How cool is that?! If we were in Spain, I’d say “¡Que Guay!” which literally means “How Cool?” When I read this little tidbit of news a few weeks ago from the Mayflower Society, I really couldn’t believe my eyes. You have to do the math for this to really set in. The very first Thanksgiving took place all the way back in 1621. As my mom’s aunt likes to remind me, if we were really being true to the very first Thanksgiving, we would all be eating fish instead of turkey.
To give you a little bit of context, Thanksgiving is hands down my all-time favorite holiday, without question. Just ask my family, we have already had two family meetings to go over the menu (we have a meeting every year, but this year I got so excited I put another one on the books!) I am dead serious about putting on a fantastic Thanksgiving. I live for this! I’m pretty sure I’ve already bugged the hell out of my mom enough about planning for the Thanksgiving meal. I’ve already started counting down the days until we shop for the ingredients (numerous trips to various stores to find them) and start prepping the food for the holiday on the Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, but really I’ve been dreaming about the menu for months. I’ll let you in on a secret, this holiday is so legendary in our family, we’ve even had debates over the perfect “blankets” for those pigs aka little smokies wrapped in dough, served as an appetizer.
As a 14th generation Pilgrim (of William Brewster), I’m ashamed to say I didn’t realize how momentous this year’s Thanksgiving was sooner so that I could properly commemorate the 400th anniversary. We briefly talked about me popping out of a Turkey, but after thinking about the logistics and the nightmares I started having with the inners of the Turkey getting all over me, I quickly discarded that idea. Just think of all of that clean up! Gross! It would have made for some great bragging though, but alas…
This will be my first Thanksgiving, after spending two Thanksgiving’s celebrating in Spain, one of those year’s sans turkey because, notwithstanding turkey is the star of the meal, I’m not it’s #1 fan, just ask my family, I only take a ceremonial piece, because like I mentioned I’m a Pilgrim, so I have too. This year I’m excited to be able to embrace my family, maybe a little tighter than they would like, share the whole day with them starting out with our breakfast tacos, and later finishing with eating pie surrounded by family. I’ve always said our family’s Thanksgiving is about three things – Food, Family, and Football (being from Dallas you can’t have a Thanksgiving without having the Dallas Cowboys on the big screen TV and having the meal centered around the game!)
After taking some time to think about it, the reason why this holiday is so special to me is because of what it transmits and how it makes me feel. I feel divine connection come through and the love and warmth of our family and being able to share that with everyone that comes over for the afternoon and stays for the dinner.
So, the more I started to think about how to really honor the spirit of the holiday the more I came to understand that Thanksgiving isn’t about something gimmicky or one upping the menu, the guest list, or the decorations from the year before. The true spirit of Thanksgiving is about giving thanks and being appreciative for what we have, the Spanish have a very direct way of saying it that makes it crystal clear, “acción de gracias”, giving thanks. So, stop and take a moment to reflect – how are you going to commemorate this Thanksgiving? How are you going to show your gratitude and give thanks on this very oh so special Thanksgiving?
I like to think that is how my ancestors, the Pilgrims would like us all to celebrate the holiday, by coming together with family, friends, and loved ones to break bread and share our time and a meal together. After all, if it hadn’t been for those first Pilgrims breaking bread or should I say fish with the American Indians I sure as heck wouldn’t be here and we wouldn’t have this amazing holiday called Thanksgiving, an incredible day to connect and take time away from work and focus on creating unique memories with those we are most grateful and appreciative for. What incredible memories are you going to make this year and how are you going to share and make them?
From my family to yours – Have a fabulous 400th Thanksgiving filled with much connection, food, gratitude, and love! Here is to the next 400 Thanksgivings!