Thursday, 25 November 2010

Stealing Thanksgiving....

I've always loved Norman Rockwell's art...it's always seemed to me, here in sometimes grey & rainy Britain,to symbolise all that's exciting, shiny, hopeful about the United States. GIs in uniform, their caps at a jaunty angle (" got any gum, chum?!"), little girls with pigtails and freckles, dime stores, drug stores, ice cream sodas, pecan pies, coke bottles, ladies in 1950's swirly skirts with little white gloves and well groomed young husbands...and Thanksgiving! A magical holiday in the dreary month before the glitz of Christmas.
As a child, of course, my admiration was tinged with envy. Another day off school! Another wonderful family dinner! Perhaps presents??
But now that I'm older, I just think what a beautiful thing it must be to have a day set aside to celebrate...everything! Health, happiness, home. I wonder why we don't have it here - after all, those pilgrims were British when they landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620! We should have given thanks for their success, at least! What a time that must have been. Absolutely terrifying. Much as I adore New England, a part of me always feels a little sad when I see all those familiar names: Taunton, Bridgewater,Warwick, Greenwich, Mansfield, Uxbridge...Braintree, Weymouth, even Boston itself!They all speak to me of the homesickness those early settlers must have felt. Clinging on to a little of what they'd known, in the wilderness and unfamiliarity of their new surroundings. Of course, I'm sure it was no picnic for the native Americans either...these blustering newcomers with their sense of entitlement, come to inhabit their land...
But here we are. Nearly 400 years later. And I like to think that most of the Thanksgiving prayers around the millions of tables today.. groaning with turkeys, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pies...won't differ so very much from those said at the first celebrations all those hundreds of years ago. Thanks for friends, for family, for health and for the beauty and bounty of the country that we live in.

I'll second that. Happy Thanksgiving, America. I'm so glad the Mayflower made it...

xoxo

9 comments:

  1. What a lovely post Rachel! So true, I think Britain should adopt Thanksgiving! But the important thing is that YOU are always thankful. It is wonderful to have a special day picked out for feeling thankful for all that we have, but most importantly, we ourselves should always be thankful, day in & day out, for all our blessings. I know you are one of these people. Happy Thanksgiving sweetie! xoxo

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  2. Perhaps you should begin a lobbying campaign...
    " President Lincoln was the first president to declare Thanksgiving a national holiday at the behest of Sarah Josepha Hale, who had spent 40 years writing to congressmen, lobbying five presidents, and writing countless editorials in her campaign to create an official day of thanks." (quoted from Christina Coruth)

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  3. What a lovely post Rachel!! It is so true- our connections across the miles are still strong today and both countries find things to love about the other- US is favored for many of its entertainers- and we follow the royalty with curiosity and wonder- Thank you for YOU! I'm grateful for a new friend and I wish your lovely day to joy-filled and blessed! xxoo Joann

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  4. What a nice post :) I think that painting is lovely myself. Wishing you a wonderful day! ♥

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  5. I don't know why, but Thanksgiving is a celebration I have always been indifferent towards. It is a bit strange as I enjoy pretty much all celebrations in one way or another, even obscure ones like St Catherine's Day, Walpurgis Nacht (when I remember when it happens) and Candlemass.

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  6. I have that picture on my Norman Rockwell calendar that I buy each year from the Museum. I love Norman Rockwell too. I was very fortunate to be a part of Thanksgiving one year when I went to America. It was a really special treat for me and one I won't forget. xxxx

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  7. Dear Rachel,
    Thanksgiving is a lovely holiday and one you could easily embrace whether in U.S. or U.K.Lovely thoughts from a British point of view and I for one would love to have you share in our Thanksgiving traditions. Love to see a day of thankfulness spread across the whole world.
    p.s. I love Rockwell too!
    Sandy

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  8. Ah Rachel, what a moving post. The spirit of Thanksgiving knows no borders, and I feel that we share it in our hearts.

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  9. Hey Ray, great posting and I just got an e-mail that told me what is going on at Thanksgiving. We wish we could be there and if we were in Maine we would trek right on down.

    Sending love to you,

    Sharon

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