I’d like to wish all my American friends and family a happy Thanksgiving. I hope you have a wonderful day, filled with laughter and good company.
While Thanksgiving stems from the historic feast in November of 1621, when the Wampanoag Indians joined the Pilgrims at Plymouth for a goodwill feast*, our holiday traditions—the Holiday Season that spans from late Fall through the end of the year—stems from times when fall harvests were the last times of plenty and winter stores were finite. Holidays are also designed to bring cheer during the darkest days of the year, when the moods of many tend to reflect the reduced sunlight. Celebrations lift us up. Gathering with loved ones lifts us up. Comfort foods lift us up.
Yes, I’m saying it: wasting food.
We say Thanksgiving is about being thankful, and yet we show that thanks by overindulging. That doesn’t seem like very thankful behavior to me—especially when a good portion of our population is already obese. I say it’s time we celebrate Thanksgiving not by making feasts for ourselves, but as an opportunity to be to the poor what the Wampanoag Indians were to the Pilgrims: by giving to those in need.
Showing thanks by giving.
We can still gather with loved ones, celebrate our appreciation for one another, but with normal-sized meals. By giving instead of wasting food, we can spread good cheer beyond our small circles. Really, isn’t that what this holiday truly is about?
*A&E Networks. History.com. 2011. http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/first-thanksgiving-meal
(accessed November 24, 2016).