1. Travis Perry says:

    I’d like to comment that while Thanksgiving relates to a particular harvest in Colonial America, a historical event, November is not really in the normal harvest season. Halloween was at the time of harvest in most of Europe…and I can see how the harvest of crops lead to a focus on a harvest of souls…

    Thanksgiving was made an official holiday long after the particular colonial harvest that inspired it (by President Lincoln). As such the holiday was more about remembering God’s provision in the past than really the harvest. Though of course the holiday morphed into a sort of “National Overeating Day,” with ingredients inspired by the original Colonial harvest.

    Once the element of thanking God faded away, the holiday could easily become about anything else–for some people, it became about American Football, traditionally played in the Fall. Halloween on the one side and Christmas on the other, both of which have stonger sales potential than Thanksgiving (therefore more profitable for retailers), are contributing greatly to pushing it to the margins.

    I said all of that because I think the disconnect of modern society from agrarian cycles actually doesn’t explain what has happened to the unique United States holiday known as “Thanksgiving.” It’s more about first a loss of interest in thanking God and second a greater focus on those things that make more money…

    • Esther Wallace says:

      …and third, I think, a dwindling interest in history, and a people groups very roots.

      • notleia says:

        I dunno, I think more people are descended from later immigration waves than the Puritans. The genealogy hobbyists in my family have only traced us back to the mid-to-late 1700’s in the Carolinas.

        Technically Virginia was earlier (tho not by much) than the New England colonies. And the Quakers have a generally less-gross history than either because they made nice with the local tribes and also didn’t approve of slavery and also didn’t torture/execute people from other denominations for heresy. Y’know what, we should have a holiday celebrating Quakers rather than Puritans.

    • I agree, Travis, though I am not ready to say that the urban-centric society we’ve become has no influence on the devaluation of Thanksgiving. But probably the attitude toward God has the most to do with the changes. That and the inability to commercialize it enough. I mean, it’s too close to Christmas to do much–promote cards, give gifts. And because of a lack of concern for God, that period of history is uncomfortable for those who don’t believe in God, so they’d just as soon turn the day into Turkey Day as anything. I wonder how many times we’ll hear that term this year.


      • notleia says:

        ………..Does this mean we could talk about urban farming? Tho depending on method (greenhouses, hydroponics), it may still largely ignore traditional harvest dates.

What do you think?