In the USA, we are celebrating Thanksgiving this week. Sara Hale was a big campaigner to have this day celebrated as a national holiday. I played the part of Ms. Hale in an elementary school play so I always remember that. Her campaign succeeded when our sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln, declared the fourth Thursday in November as this national holiday.
The origins of Thanksgiving, per my school history books, was a harvest feast to which Native Americans invited the starving Europeans, who had shown up, unannounced, on their shores. In Massachusetts, we tend to think of Thanksgiving as having New England origins but some say the famous feast was in Virginia. Still, Massasoit, the leader of the Wampanoag, shared the local bounty with the Puritans, fleeing from religious persecution, who came here from England on the Mayflower in the 1600s. It is said that Mary Brewster was one of the few women from the Mayflower to survive until this First Thanksgiving.
If you are in or around Massachusetts, you might consider a visit to Sturbridge Village or Plimouth Plantations (spaces dedicated to sharing the life of Europeans living in current day New England in the 1600s). Reliving the notion of life without modern day comforts can prompt a state of thankfulness without much effort.
Buy it. Read it. (Or listen to it.) Let me know what you think. –TMLL