Written by Maeven Eller-Five
It’s that time of year again when we are planning the places we are going to for Thanksgiving. Our holiday hustle and bustle has begun. People will soon be rushing to accomplish all of the things that come along with this season.
As our Thanksgiving plans come together, we all start to take stock of what we are bringing to the table. Whether we are Hestia in the kitchen this year, or a cherished guest, we all have a special place in this holiday ritual.
The first Thanksgiving that the Pilgrims enjoyed was because of the generosity the Native Americans had shown them. The Wampanoag, seeing the immigrants struggle through their first winter, with half of the settlement dying due to illness and starvation, came bearing the gift of help for the new settlers. Of the first 102 brave pilgrims to set sail for the New World, only 53 survived their journey on the Mayflower and that first winter.
With the help of the Wampanoag tribe and the gift of their teachings about the New World foods, how to grow them, and sharing their seeds, the Pilgrims new crops survived. Thankfully was a big enough harvest to sustain them through their second winter. This successful harvest was more than just food to the pilgrims; it was the promise of life in this brave new land.
The first Thanksgiving, the new settlers celebrated with a feast as they would rejoice in Old World after harvest. It was part of their culture to celebrate successfully bringing in the crops. As the Wampanoag tribe made it possible for the new world immigrants to sustain themselves, they invited the tribe to share in this feast as honored guests. The rest is holiday history.
There is another favored tradition practiced this holiday, the custom of making a place at our table for holiday orphans. Many of us invite those who otherwise may be without plans. It is one of my favorite traditions. I think it reminds me most of the very essence of this holiday. When we see all that we have to be grateful for and decide to share it, that in my opinion, is Thanksgiving.
This year as we make our way “over the river and through the woods,” let us remember how important what we bring to the table can truly be. May you find all that you need this holiday season. We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, from all of us at Mystic Elements.