Thanksgiving Essay

Example #1

Although most people love Christmas, my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. The five-hundred-year-old holiday has been celebrated in my family for generations and even though it is not as celebrated by the majority of the general population, it has remained an important family tradition.

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Each year I look forward to seeing all my relatives because I rarely see them. Because so many advancements have been made in the area of transportation all of my relatives live millions of miles away. Despite the fact that it only takes my farthest relative about an hour to get to my house, she insists that it is simply not worth it to travel for that long for no reason other than a short visit.

Oh well, there s just no arguing with Aunt Sue. She s simply too old and too set in her ways. She still refuses to eat red meat because she s afraid that our high-tech whatchamacallit, as she prefers to call our state-of-the-art Kitchen Mate 5000, do not cook the meat to the proper temperature to kill any bacteria lurking within. On numerous occasions, I’ve tried to explain that all the meat we consume has been chemically treated so that all the bacteria has already been killed, but she does not want to hear it.

Even if there was some type of bacteria, the KM would detect it and respond accordingly by killing the bacteria for us. Aunt Sue is 112 years old this year so I guess I can give her a break.

I think that some of the greatest and most fascinating advancements in the last one hundred years have been made in the area of health sciences. Scientists found ways, through much laboratory research, to expand a human s life expectancy to 135 years.

Although this seemed a great feat back in 2050, today the main focus has been on disease control. In 2078, AIDS, one of the number one threats to the man in the late 1900 s, was cured by a man named Joseph Kilpatrick. He simply created a pill that wiped out the disease within twenty-four hours.

I learned about this disease in my sophomore year at the Stonington High School Institute for Girls. I couldn t believe the numbers that this one little disease killed, and is now as simple to cure as the common cold, which has also been cured. I never really understood how scientists could be baffled for so many years over such a simple ailment. Oh well, as my grandmother has said, science then was not as advanced as it is now.

I must also say that I am really very thankful for Bill Gates; without him, all of the things I have now would be non-existent. Just about everything in my life is computer operated. My home security system is run on a series of chips that hold ten sets of fingerprints, eye scans, and voice match-ups so that nobody can get into my house except my family and I.

All of my kitchen utensils are run by the main computer in the center Island that also controls all cooking and any cleanup. Thanksgiving dinner is so easy to prepare these days. All I hear about is how when my great grandmother was growing up it took anywhere from 4-6 hours to cook a turkey. Now it takes 4-6 minutes with my KM and main computer.

The only downfall to all this advancement is that now I have nothing to do. I wonder how I would get along if something happened and the system shut down. I don t think I have much to worry about though; everything is backed up by batteries now last a lifetime. My older relatives constantly tell me how much easier life is now and I believe them.

It s funny how they all talk about the old days. Especially, my great grandfather, we call him Gramps. A lot has happened since the days of old Gramps youth. He always tells stories of how he drove a car on the ground and how people would die in car accidents before computers took over that aspect of life as well.

He also talks about how houses could burn down and how sometimes students had to do work without their TI-86000 Personal Assistants. I guess I really do have a lot to be thankful for, after all, being able to see all the advancement. I can only guess what the next one hundred years will bring.

 

Example #2

On September 6, 1620, 102 men, women, and children from England boarded a small cargo boat called the Mayflower and set sail for the New World. The passengers left their homes in England in search of religious freedom from the King of England. Today they are known as “pilgrims.”

After braving two months at sea, crossing the stormy Atlantic Ocean, the Pilgrims finally landed off the coast of the New World. In the freezing December waters, they anchored the Mayflower and sent a landing party to what is now Plymouth Harbor beach. To secure the small landing boat against the rain and winds, they tied it to a large rock – Plymouth Rock – and so begins the legend of the original Thanksgiving tale.

The Pilgrims found themselves in a harsh new environment. In the middle of winter, they slowly built a settlement at the site of an abandoned Pawtuxet Indian village. Not used to hunting or fishing, they struggled to find food. Many were starving. The future looked bleak.

Many of the pilgrims did not survive the first winter. By the time spring arrived, they still had not met the Indians. Instead, they lived in fear of their unseen neighbors based on “savage tales” they heard from scouts.

When April arrived, the crew of the Mayflower raised its sails and set off for England, offering to take any Pilgrim who wished to return to England. Faced with the choice of the harsh New World, or the religious intolerance of the King, they all stayed.

One day, a lone Indian man walked into the settlement. He raised his hand in friendship to the settlers. The Pilgrims welcomed this stranger named Samoset. Samoset introduced the Pilgrims to his chief, Massasoit, and his interpreter, Squanto.

Squanto spoke English because he had been captured as a boy by traders who had come to the New World in search of slaves. Squanto was taken to England and lived there many years before returning to the New World. He alone understood that the Pilgrims did not know how to hunt or fish – that they would die without help in the New World.

Squanto and Chief Massasoit extended their friendship to the Pilgrims. They showed them how to catch fish with nets and how to grow corn, pumpkins, potatoes, and squash – foods from the New World. The Indians showed the Pilgrims where to hunt turkey and deer, and where to gather nuts and berries. They explained to the Pilgrims that the land was master of those who walked and lived there.

The harvest of 1621 saw the fulfillment of their labors. The Pilgrims had grown barley, corn, pumpkins, and beans. The settlers labored to gather their bounty; and in thanks for their fortune, decided to honor the land with a special day of thanks and celebration. In friendship and gratitude to Squanto, Chief Massasoit, and the Indian people, they invited their new friends to join in the feast.

The Pilgrims spent days preparing for the feast. The men hunted ducks and turkeys, while the women baked food and decorated the table. When the day finally arrived, the Pilgrims were surprised to see not 10, not 20, but 90 Indians approaching the village! They brought with them a bounty all their own.

For three days, the Indians and Pilgrims feasted and gave thanks to the land for the harvest. It was a celebration of friendship and thanks; but most of all, it was a celebration of freedom. Neither the Indians nor the Pilgrims knew what they had begun, but from this celebration emerged Thanksgiving as we know it today. We have been celebrating it as a uniquely American holiday ever since.

In 1863, President Lincoln officially declared the last Thursday in November a holiday of “thanksgiving and praise”, and so it remains today. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Example #3

All through the year, there are holidays in the United States to honor, remember, or celebrate people and events that are native to the country. Thanksgiving, although does celebrate an event, is apart from these American holidays for the fact that it is centered around the virtue of gratitude.

Thanksgiving is a national holiday that reflects the culture and tradition that has been created in the United States. This culture is shown through the origin, history, old and modern traditions, and food of Thanksgiving. In September of 1620, Separatists arrived at the New World after sixty-six days across the Atlantic Ocean, and after a month’s travel from the tip of Cape Cod and across Cape Cod’s Bay, these colonists finally arrived and established the Plymouth Colony.

With 102 passengers at the start of the journey, only about half of the Pilgrims survived the first winter. They were naive to the environment of North America and struggled to find reliable and safe food sources. These struggling colonists found help when they encountered an Abenaki Indian who spoke English, and later this Native American introduced the colonists to Squanto, a Patuxet.

Squanto showed the Pilgrims how to catch fish in the rivers and then showed them how to use to fish to fertilize the soil. This way the colonists could grow a successful harvest of corn.

 

Example #4

Thanksgiving is a day family and friends have a traditional meal including turkey. Thanksgiving is always held on the fourth Thursday of November every year. It’s a very special holiday when everybody comes together as a family to cook, enjoy, and bless the food, but also to enjoy each other. In 2015, I had a special Thanksgiving Day dinner that left me full of joy.

On Thanksgiving Day every year, my family and I normally rent a building that’s twenty-minutes away from my house. The building is located in Church Point, Louisiana. It is a Community Center at the park. The inside of the building is huge. It has a kitchen area in the back of the building. Inside the kitchen, it has a large island and cabinets stuff full of pots, pans, and utensils.

We had two long tables in the back by the kitchen to put the food on. The deejay is placed in the front by the entrance. Between the kitchen and the deejay were chairs and tables placed for people to eat their food. There were placed a variety of tables that came in different shapes and colors. As I walked around the building, I noticed yellow, brown, and orange tables.

The chairs had chair covers on them that were the same colors of yellow, brown, and orange, which are colors that you would see in November that had different meanings. Yellow is the corn, brown is the turkey and orange is a pumpkin. As Thanksgiving Day approaches each year slowly, my family and friends are on their way to Louisiana.

Example #5

The holiday of Thanksgiving is a tradition started by the Pilgrims and Indians. Together they shared the fruits of the newly settled America. Thanksgiving Day is a communal celebration marked as a sense of gratitude people feel for all the good things in life. This is done by offering prayers, gifting your near and dear ones. Its origin can be traced back to the 16th century when the first thanksgiving dinner is said to have taken place. Besides, the fourth Thursday in the month of November is marked for the yearly celebration.

Thanksgiving is a time for gifting your family and friends. The day is a time to show your gratitude and respect to your elders, friends, your siblings, and also your colleagues. Popular gifts include thanksgiving flowers, jewelry, baked cookie hampers, chocolate gift baskets, candies, and wine.

Thanksgiving Day is a family festival celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm in the US and Canada. Thanksgiving Day Festival commemorates the feast held by the Pilgrim colonists and members of the Wampanoag people at Plymouth in 1621.

On this day people express gratitude to God for his blessings and give thanks to dear ones for their love and support. Feasting with family is an integral and most delightful part of Thanksgiving Day celebrations. The family feast is an important tradition during Thanksgiving.

The entire family sits at the table during dinner and offer prayer to the Lord Almighty for his continuous grace. The traditional stuffed turkey adorns every dinner table during the feast.

Pumpkin pie, Cranberry sauce, Corns are some of the dishes cooked everywhere to mark the day. Finally, Thanksgiving gives Americans a day to spend time with family and friends. We all reflect, at the magical moment when we first sit down at the holiday table, how God has blessed the United States of America for two hundred and thirty-five years with an overflowing cornucopia, unfettered political and religious freedoms, and economic opportunity.

Let us also pause for a moment to pray for and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to safeguard our freedoms who protected and defended their country.

 

Example #6

Thanksgiving is one of America’s most treasured holidays and traditions. While there are some constants in the way we observe the day, it can mean different things to different people.

The American Thanksgiving holiday began as a feast in the early days of the American colonies almost 400 years ago. In 1620, a boat filled with more than 100 people sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from England to settle in the New World. This religious group had begun to question the beliefs of the Church of England and they wanted to separate from it.

The pilgrims settled in what is now the state of Massachusetts, and their first winter in the New World was difficult. They had arrived too late to grow any crops, and without fresh food, half the colonist died from diseases which the contracted on the voyage from England.

The following spring the Iroquois Indians befriended the pilgrims and taught them how to grow corn, something the colonist never had done before. They showed them other crops to grow in the unfamiliar soil and how to hunt and fish. In the autumn of 1621, plentiful crops of corn, barley, beans, and pumpkins were harvested. The colonists had much to be thankful for, so a feast was planned.

They invited the local Indian chief and 90 Indians. The Indians brought deer to roast with the turkeys and other wild game offered by the colonists. The colonists had learned how to cook cranberries and different kinds of corn and squash dishes from the Indians.

In the following years, many of the original colonists celebrated the autumn harvest with a feast of thanks. After the United States became an independent country, Congress recommended one yearly day of thanksgiving for the whole nation to celebrate.

 

Example #7

Usually, over Thanksgiving break, it is just me, my mother, and aunt at the dinner table. And that “dinner table” is actually the coffee table in the living room. It seems quite different from the generic thanksgiving dinner setting, with the whole family congregated around the large table in the kitchen, yet it does not phase me. I’m fine with how we celebrate Thanksgiving, it does not matter that there are only three of us; at least we’re still able to celebrate the holiday.

For this year it was pretty much the same setup, but we had a 4th guest. A very good friend of mine. Other than her presence, everything was pretty much the same as any other year. My mother made a good variety of food, we ate on the coffee table in the living room, and we talked and laughed with each other. It was a great experience, like every other year.

Although we don’t take the generic stance on how we set up and eat our food, we most certainly take a generic stance when it comes to the food itself. Usually, we eat duck, but we tried turkey this year, with stuffing, red cabbage, cranberry sauce, scalloped potatoes, and apple pie.

Everything tasted as good as ever and really made me appreciate the moment as I would not be eating this food any other time in the year. I could, if I really wanted to, but I feel like that food is meant just for that day alone. I just wouldn’t be able to appreciate it as much as I could on the holiday, and that makes me think, are these values I believe to have for the food on this holiday really for the food or for the holiday itself?

Looking back at this Thanksgiving dinner, as well as all the ones in the past, I realize that we seem to just be taking this holiday as a moment to appreciate our food and family. In that, our values seem to be on holiday rather than the food.

The food just serves as a type of catalyst to get the jolliness of the situation going. Sure, we are all very happy together, and we are taking our time eating the food, savoring every bite as we know this is only a once in a year moment, but who’s to say the food brings out these values?

Looking back on it now, I fully believe the Thanksgiving holiday gives us a moment like no other. It has its own feel to it, different from Christmas, Easter, and all the other holidays, and for that reason, we will appreciate the moment as much as 24 hours will allow us.

My family, like many other families, will all appreciate this moment, taking their time cooking the food as well as eating it, but will sadly go back to eating their microwaved and canned foods the day after. It seems to just be the mentality of the holidays. You appreciate it as much as you can at the moment just because you know it will only come once a year, and after that, you no longer care.

To sum all this junk up, I believe there are a great amount of values present in the Thanksgiving holiday, solely because this holiday occurs once a year. If it were any other day, we would display our true value in relation to food, eating fast, ultimately not appreciating the food.

 

Example #8 – interesting ideas

Well, let’s see…everyone is going to take the easy way out and explain how thanksgiving came to be, pilgrims and such, straight off the internet. Boring (for you and the teacher). I think it would be interesting to discuss how different cultures celebrate T-giving, all here in the States. Valuing diversity is huge these days. It starts with an open mind and understanding. I think you could win MAJOR brownie points with your tech by displaying your interest in other cultures. This goes beyond tolerance, or acceptance, and shines a light on your “respectful interest” in them.

It would be nice if you really DID feel this way…but even if you don’t, go this route anyhow. Its a “hot topic”, you’ll be rewarded handsomely!

When we’re young, we think that whatever goes on in OUR home, is the same thing that goes on in EVERY other home, right? When you were 10, you thought everyone put a tree in there house and cookies out for Santa. Now, you know that’s not true. Bc America truly is a melting pot of diversity, it REALLY is interesting to see how “Americans” (as in, where someone takes up residency), from other cultures/backgrounds, etc., celebrate this traditional holiday.

I have a feelin’, most of us will be celebrating with the family next Thursday…but I betcha…less families than you think are going to have women in the kitchen preparing the turkey, mashers, etc. while the men watch the Lions game. Look into it, see how others celebrate, see what traditions they carry out. I really do think even you would find it interesting. I do.

One other idea, maybe you can run with…google the stats on how many people now make reservations for giving dinner, rather than preparing it at home. I’ve also heard that giving and Xmas day are the most busy two days a movie theatre sees, all year long. Crazy, right? Chinese food for dinner, then off to see the new Twilight movie….??? IS that still T-giving?? How did we get here…?? This is another one worth investigating/writing about. And once again, you have an opportunity to “flex your good conscious” and discuss how we’ve gotten away from the “real meaning” of holidays like T-giving (and Xmas….and easter…and….well, all of em!).

The original Thanksgiving story is about illegal immigrants who squatted on native American lands, sorta like modern Jews in Palestine or like undocumented Mexican workers in the United States today. Little conflicts arose, arms were taken up, hostilities grew, a clash of cultures and conscience brewed. And, then, hunger set in.

The pilgrims were ignorant, uneducated religious fanatics who had fled oppression and religious tyranny in their homelands. Their way was paid for by greedy businessmen who shipped them off beyond the edge of the earth in hopes that they would plunder the fabled gold in the the legendary new world. The pilgrims were fodder. No one really cared about them.

They did not arrive well-supplied. They did not have time to grow enough food for the winter. They were going to die. One day, the young “savages” of the new world decided to be humans. And, the pilgrims decided to be humans. And, they put down their weapons, set aside their fears and hatred, and chose to be friends. The natives brought food for the starving pilgrims. And, they shared a meal together in friendship. That’s the Thanksgiving story.


How did Thanksgiving become a yearly national practice?

It was Sarah Josepha Hale, a magazine editor, whose efforts eventually led to what we recognize as Thanksgiving. Hale wrote many editorials championing her cause in her Boston Ladies’ Magazine, and later, in Godey’s Lady’s Book. She was fired with the determination of having the whole nation join together in setting apart a national day for giving thanks “unto Him from who all blessings flow.”

In 1830, New York proclaimed an official state “Thanksgiving Day.” Other states soon followed its example. The Territory of Minnesota celebrated its first Thanksgiving Day on December 26, 1850.

The whole territory, including all of what is now the State of Minnesota plus the Dakotas as far west as the Missouri River, contained approximately 6,000 settlers but the book, The Frontier Holiday, describes a spirited celebration. Territory Governor, Alexander Ramsey, proclaimed the day of thanks.

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