|The original version of "Are we there yet?"|
Thought Number One: Aren't We Forgetting About Thanksgiving?
When you consider how precarious and fortuitous it was that the Mayflower ever actually made it over here, you would think we would be a little more gracious about honoring their efforts. Let's just look at the historical events that didn't work out exactly as planned. Just about every version of the Thanksgiving story neglects to tell us some of the major screw ups.
If you go back to around 1608 a congregation of disgruntled English Protestants left Scrooby, Nottinghmshire and moved to Holland. These people were Separatists who didn't want to be affiliated with the Church of England. This group of Separatist, called themselves the "Saints". They did find some religious freedom in Holland but the Dutch craft guilds were making it very difficult to work except in very low paying jobs. The group decided to move somewhere where there was more freedom from government.
So the Saints moved back to London to organize themselves for taking a trip over to the "new land". They worked with a prominent merchant that worked out a plan for them to colonize an area in the general vicinity between Chesapeake Bay and the mouth of the Hudson River. The King of England granted them leave of the Church of England provided they "carry themselves peaceably".
So in August of 1620 a group of Saints joined up with another group of secular colonists whom they referred to as the "Strangers" loaded up their belongings onto two ships: the Mayflower and the Speedwell. Early in the voyage the Speedwell sprung a leak and the two ships turned around and went back to England. There they loaded the passengers off the Speedwell and onto the Mayflower with what supplies they could squeeze on. Now the single ship had 102 people heading for Virginia and needed to have enough food, wine and beer to make it over to the new world.
Oh...you didn't know about the wine and beer. Yes, during the time of the Mayflower people had not figured out that water filled with raw sewage was impure and tended to make people sick. They hadn't quite figured out about purification processes but they had figured out that fermented beverages did not make them sick.With that in mind there needed to be enough fermented beverages to drink on long voyages.
Anyway..back to the story...by the time they got out of town it was nearly winter. Not the best time for an overcrowded ship to be sailing to Virginia but that is what they did. After about 64 miserable days at sea, the hardy group of Saints and Strangers arrived in Cape Cod around November 9th (by today's calculations they think it was around November 19th).
Wait??? Where is Virginia?? Seems that just as everything else was working against them, they missed their mark on where to land. The patent they held from the Virginia Company of London authorized them to build a plantation in Virginia. Unfortunately, winter was upon them and they were running out of beer. So what is a Pilgrim to do? They wrote the Mayflower Compact and picked out a site to establish a colony. The sight they picked was probably in the area of Plymouth Bay where the Native American farmers had cleared the land. Conveniently the Native Americans died thanks to the Colonist bringing with them European-borne pestilence, freeing up the land for them.
Long story short,....In their first winter in America, more than half of the Plymouth colonists died from malnutrition, disease and exposure to the harsh New England weather. In fact, without the help of the area’s native people, it is likely that none of the colonists would have survived. An English-speaking Pawtuxet named Samoset helped the colonists form an alliance with the local Wampanoags, who taught them how to hunt local animals, gather shellfish and grow corn, beans and squash. At the end of the next summer, the Plymouth colonists celebrated their first successful harvest with a three-day festival of thanksgiving. We still commemorate this feast today.
Thought Two: This Year Thanksgiving is Being Replaced
|While Christmas is usually taking over Thanksgiving...there's a new interloper this year.|
This year, thanks to an extremely rare convergence, Thanksgiving (Nov. 28) falls during the eight-day Jewish Festival of Lights. Some are calling it “Hanu-giving.” Others prefer “Thanksgivukkah.”
From a purely numerical standpoint it’s a pretty big deal. Math geeks say the last time it happened — at least since President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a federal holiday — was 1888. And by one calculation it won’t happen again for another 79,000 years.
Seventy-nine-thousand, forty-three years, to be exact. But who’s counting?
While I am not entirely certain of my facts here as I am not Jewish and can only go by what I hear and/or read, (By all means, correct me in the comments if I am misunderstanding this) Hanukkah starts on the same day every year on the Hebrew calendar. But since the months of that calendar have only 29 or 30 days, the Jewish year falls roughly 11 days short of the 365-day Gregorian calendar. To keep everything in sync an extra “leap month” is added seven times every 19 years. That made Hanukkah unusually early this year. Combine that with an extremely late Thanksgiving, and boom! Thanksgivukkah! It falls on the second night of Hanukkah.
But seriously Thanksgivukkah poses several real-life conundrums. What kind of food do you serve? How do you decorate when the browns and reds of Thanksgiving clash with Hanukkah’s blue motif? And after using up two feasts in one night, then what are you supposed to eat?
Guess you can give tribute to the original colonists...drink the beer and wine.
Come Join Top Sites Tuesday and be #1 on BlogDumps!
The purpose of this Meme is to encourage
Networking between bloggers and to have fun while doing it!
Make sure to visit all the other participants and leave comments