This week we celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States. It's a Federal holiday established for Americans to take a moment with family and friends and consider what good fortunes they've had over the year. Or maybe count blessings in a year that wasn't so great.
As kids we get a "teach the legend" version of Thanksgiving and believe that we're celebrating a feast partaken of by the weird-o's who were so miffed they couldn't comfortably be uptight enough in 17th Century Europe, and so essentially moved to an equivalent of what would be a moon colony for us, just so they could burn women as witches in peace. They happened to have their asses saved by some locals, and giving Thanks seemed like a keen idea.
That comes loaded with the egregious history of how Europeans would then colonize and wage 300 years of war on the people already living here. So, understandably, if that was what we were celebrating, I get how one would pause to reflect and wonder how this led to finishing dinner quickly to watch The Dallas Cowboys and/ or seeing how much wine is in the remaining bottles and keeping a slow burn til it's all over.
But that is not what we're celebrating. This isn't Christmas which has deep roots in Christian history, or Hannukah which refers to a specific moment in Jewish history. I don't think most Americans really think of Thanksgiving as a specific day to sit down in honor of Pilgrims and Native Americans. That would be particularly weird.
From the earliest days of the U.S., Thanksgiving was a tradition in regions, but not universally celebrated. While some Presidents observed the holiday, as early as Jefferson, the holiday was eschewed as religious and therefore not a National holiday.