Thursday, November 24, 2011

The REAL Thanksgiving Story

It's Thanksgiving today, and when I think of Thanksgiving, I remember elementary school.
I have vivid memories of coloring in Ms. Israeli's classroom. She was an art teacher, a stern portly woman with frizzy blond hair, who wore stretch pants every single day. In hindsight, she shouldn't have been teaching children, because she clearly disliked them. But there we were, little first graders, coloring pictures of pilgrims with giant hats, multi-colored indian corn, turkeys, cornbread, Native Americans, I believe boats were involved...maybe because the pilgrims came over on a boat. It was an idyllic depiction of the Thanksgiving feast.


But's let get real. The pilgrims didn't come over to America, hang out with the Native Americans and eat turkey and cornbread. They came to the Native American's land, took over, gave them small pox, and forced themselves on the Native American women. That's not such an pretty picture.

I suppose, if we extract the reality of Thanksgiving and treat it as a time to spend with our families, it can be a nice holiday. But the question is, what do we tell our kids about this holiday? As I got older and out of Ms. Israeli's art class, and learned the grim reality about Thanksgiving, I felt duped. She (and her stretch pants) lied to us!

Do we treat this holiday as a nice time to spend with our families, or do we address the truth of what happened to the Native Americans?

What do you think? What do you tell your kids about Thanksgiving?

9 comments:

  1. LOL ZING! I think the Canadian Thanksgiving is different, I don't think there is any meaning behind it...maybe I'm wrong? We basically treat it as a family holiday and turkey day :)

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  2. i was just going to say that our thanksgiving is all about harvest bounty, and giving thanks for how lucky we are. no mayflower/pilgram/first nations stuff at all. even though i do remember some pilgram stuff from school. my son's JK class was all about turkey crafts, not one pilgram was mentioned.

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  3. Yeah, we have that sentiment attached to our Turkey day as well, however there is the grim reality I spoke of.

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  4. Not having children just yet, I don't know what the answer is. Although I'm inclined to say they deserve to know about the sad reality as well as understand the importance of gratitude. However, that lesson should be taught every single day.
    And as a person teetering on vegetarianism, I think that it shouldn't be about turkeys either. Even though turkey meat is my weakness. I shall defeat this one day.
    AND by the way, Ms. Israeli was an alien and retched...I tried to be nice to her one day by complimenting her ugly shoes, and she didn't respond very nicely to me....that beotch...I saw her last year at the movie theatre, and it was as if she didn't age....see, alien.......

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  5. She shouldn't have been working with kids. I remember her wearing very pointy shoes. Could that be right?

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  6. Yep...ugly pointy shoes....which is so cliche in terms of the "witch" stereotype...haha...

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  7. Yes indeed! Hee hee! In honor of you, Dara, I will mainly be dining on stuffing. Poor turkeys!

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  8. I agree with you Sarah. I hate this holiday, but for now I have to do a lot I don't want to. I thought having kids would be time for me to raise them how I wanted, but apparently there are in-laws and family and it is not the case!! >:(

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What do you think? Feel free to agree or disagree, but hateful comments will be deleted.