- "Thank you"
- Now there's a phrase that sounds good. It's a feel good
phrase too. I've been appreciated....smile.
- "GEE THANKS"
- Hold on a minute....was that gratitude or attitude? Did
I detect a note of sarcasm in that last phrase? Inflection is very
- Teach your child to be polite. Wind him up and send him
into the world of manners. He'll leave a trail of warm fuzzies wherever
- Don't get me wrong. I love to hear "thank you"
and, even more, I love to say it. But, most of all, I love to mean it.
In order to mean it, I mean really mean it, I have to know its
- On the fourth Thursday of each November in the U.S ,
families gather together. Some..... to give the Lord Blessings;
enjoy a secular ritual over a Turkey surrounded by holiday
- Food abounds and forks make many trips to the serving
platters. A common phenomenon, at Thanksgiving time, is for people to stuff
more than the turkey.
- "I am so full I cannot eat another bite"
- This moment of satiety lasts as long as it takes for
the dessert to exit the kitchen.
- "Maybe I'll try some pumpkin pie."
apple pie. Put a little ice cream on that, please"
- Gobbling a Turkey is an American tradition. Lying there
with its legs up in the air, the turkey has become a celebratory
- "Who will carve the bird?"
- Carving has been elevated to an art form. The slices
should be juicy and thin. Once perfectly formed, they are put on board
the gravy boat.
- Conversation presents a challenge. Nobody wanted to sit
next to Uncle Mike, with his combination of chewing while spitting food.
He seems to be the only one at the table who is unaware of the bits of
turkey that fly through his teeth as he entertains everyone with the same
story he told last year.
- "Is it the Tryptophan, or am I growing
- Bob and Betty haven't spoken for years, yet each
they find themselves sentenced to Mom's prison table.
- "Please, be nice....do it for me. It's only once
- And, eventually, " this too shall pass, " as
arms reach into sleeves, and coats hop on backs.
- "Goodnight and thank you"
- Thank you? There's that phrase again.
- Thanks (giving). What is this holiday and why has it
become an American tradition?
- When I was in Elementary School, my teachers told me
the story of Thanksgiving. It was a heartwarming story indeed. The Pilgrims
had come to this new world, America, and found the place inhabited by
- "Hi Chief, nice to meet you" "I'd like
to invite you to dine with us"
- In 1621, near the end of the Plymouth Colony's first
year in America, the settlers gave thanks for a plentiful harvest. They
joyously invited their new friends, the Indians, to share in their good
fortune. The Pilgrims and the natives dined together.
- "Pass the stuffing, Squanto"
- The Pilgrims arranged something called a "peace
turkey" and everyone feasted on geese, ducks, deer, corn, oysters,
fish and berries. And....they lived happily after.
- I am afraid that the teacher had taught me the expurgated
version. Her first Thanksgiving might've appeared on a Hallmark card, but
not in the early United States. The teacher did not mention the many
Thanksgivings during which the Pilgrims gave "thanks" for their
victories over the indigenous people.
- In Mitchel Cohen's piece called "Why I Hate
he draws upon the writings of Historian, Howard Zinn, to describe how
massacred the Indians.
- Columbus had written:
- "The Indians are so naive and so free with their
possessions that no one who has not witnessed them would believe it. When
you ask for something they have, they never say no. To the contrary, they
offer to share with anyone."
- Columbus concluded his report by asking for a little
help from the King and Queen, and, in return he would bring them "as
much gold as they need, and as many slaves as they ask."
- Slaves? Gold? My mind traveled back to the childlike
sketches I'd made of the Nina the Pinta and the Santa Maria as my second
grade teacher entertained us with stories about Chris the Courageous. Why
had I not been taught about Christopher the Cruel? Christopher the cold
- Mitchell Cohen continued , "Columbus's men murdered
more than 100,000 Indians on Haiti alone. Overall, dying as slaves in the
mines, or directly murdered, or from diseases brought to the Caribbean
by the Spaniards, over 3 million Indian people were murdered between 1494
and 1508. "
- Is this any way to say "Hi?"
- The stage was set for the Thanksgivings that
- "Three hundred thousand Indians were murdered in
New England by the Puritan elite who wanted the war, a war for land, for
gold, for power. And, in the end, the Indian population of 10 million that
was in North America when Columbus came was reduced to less than one
- The practice known as "scalping" was introduced
by the English..
- Had it not been for the humanity of the Indigenous
the Pilgrims would not have survived that first difficult year. The Indians
brought them deer meat and beaver skins. They taught them the skills they
needed to survive on the land. They taught them how to navigate the waters,
fish and cultivate vegetables. They told the Pilgrims which were the
plants and showed how other plants could be used as medicines. They treated
the Pilgrims with dignity and kindness. And how were they
Not at the party table passing the "peace turkey" (unless
means "thank you" in Pilgrimese")
- It's November again and people have begun planning this
years festivities. The day before Thanksgiving is the biggest travel day
in this country. And while people are flying to see their loved ones (and
not so loved ones) do they ever think about the real meaning of this
Or are they content to remain in second grade with myths and distortions
protecting them from the "difficult to stomach" truths. While
they busily make their reservations, do they wonder how this holiday is
experienced on the Indian Reservations? While they are busy defining the
word gluttony, do they consider if the Native Americans of this land have
enough to eat?
- "Thank you" is a beautiful phrase. I feel it
each and every day.
- Today I am alive, and Mother Earth has cradled me in
her arms. I have wonderful, caring friends and family and an opportunity
to make a difference, personally and professionally.
- Do I want to pull the plug on the Turkey Dinner? Not
really. Do I want to storm off the computer with my "Why I hate
Part 2" No, not at all. What I would like is to redefine this holiday
and, in doing so, reserve my thanks for places more appropriate and not
weighted down with the symbolism of cruelty and suffering.
- The bloody history of Thanksgiving is incompatible with
the simple and honest gesture of giving thanks.
- JUDE10901@AOL.com www.judyandreas.com
- Copyright 2004 Judy Andreas