♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
Thanksgiving traditions – What are your traditions or what traditions would you like to begin. For those not in the US, how about writing about family traditions?
Welcome back to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop! If you’re new to the series, the authors included are grateful for your reads and appreciate, even more so, when you share our writings with your friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Be prepared to become a regular reader.
Most families have traditions, but we rarely get to explore from where they stem. Certainly a great deal of the history surrounding holiday traditions is based on the things we’ve learned from previous generations. These are the things that culturally anchor us, make meaning, and lend comfort along with a sense of belonging. This above all else is why we hold so tightly to traditions. So, when someone comes in and shakes up the sense of self and sense of history a person has, it makes a lot more sense as to why that person might react with anger. This is no reason to remain silent on advocating change that will make this world better for all of us. The traditions for my Thanksgiving are staked in history and doing the right thing regardless of the bend of society. Going along to get along can be a dangerous creed.
Each year, it is my tradition to share the history of how the Thanksgiving Holiday came into being, highlighting what followed, and celebrating Native American History Month. As a historian, does anything else make better sense? For a long time, part of my family was under the impression that we carried Native genealogy. Come to find out, after a DNA test on both sides, there is not one trace. How is that even possible? Both family lines appear to have immigrated after 1900.
Despite this discovery, my respect for the First Nations is no less. I spend a great deal of time on social media reading about the issues that affect them, sharing what I can with others, and learning how I can be a more effective ally in the future. You’ll run into my use of the #NoDAPL and #IStandWithStandingRock hashtags if you follow my page. First Nations Issues are American issues, and it’s important that we listen to the people and their concerns. If we ignore them, then we crush tradition, unmoor anchors to our past, enter uncomfortable territory and lose all sense of belonging. That can create a lot of anxiety and depression in individuals, extending to a larger societal issue.
At home, sharing what I know has resulted in a growing respect for what the Native American’s have to say. Among friends and family, I helped to cultivate activism to promote equality. My mother loves Turkey Day. Recently, she said to me, she wouldn’t want to give up having a thanksgiving meal, but that the holiday, she understood, is problematic and she finds it difficult to reconcile celebrating a false history. I feel this, too. When the reality settled in some years ago, that all we were taught in grade and high school was heavily propagandized, the sense of being cheated out of my real American history left me raw. Imagine how the people who have been trampled underfoot by the false narrative feel. We should be angry, but not at having our holiday taken from us, but for being lied to and manipulated. For losing the stories that actually create our foundations.
This past year has seen a huge cultural upheaval in the United States. We stand at the proverbial crossroads. Seemingly, the nation has chosen to go down a pretty offensive road. Violence in the streets has increased. Respect for women is at an all time low. Minorities are being abused in the open, and their abusers protected. These are things that have been swept under the Nation’s rug. In not dealing with them, they’ve been left to fester, and the infection has become an enormity. Will we chose to face it, or kick the can down the road to the next generation again?
My family will sit down to a table full of food, morose for the unknown future we face. We’re lucky, though, because we are all of the same mind (this wasn’t always the case, but those family members have drifted away with the passing of others). We are also lucky because our home is stocked with plenty of food, while there are going to be those doing without Thursday. I will not have to experience the conversations that many will in the coming days, the ones that cause semi and permanent rifts. The discord resulting may or may not also result in moving forward on conversations that have wrongly been left untouched. Somehow, someway, there is a way to get through to others who think differently and not cause pain or rifts. To find the right path forward. Hate, after all, is based in ignorance. If we can spread knowledge instead, this nation will find peace.
My mom expressed last year that she wanted to volunteer at a shelter. I hope that we get to do this soon. Giving back is the best way to fight hate. Giving love without expectation of returns is not only priceless, but it can save lives.
Let’s hop on over to see what the other authors’ traditions are…