As we continue the year with political unrest and social injustice
amongst everything going on in 2020, it’s hard to say what exactly the
Holidays will look like this year. As the true atrocities of Thanksgiving
have come to light over the years many, have chosen not to celebrate
at all or completely replace the holiday with Friendsgiving which is
described by Merriam-Webster as a “mashup of the word “friend” and
“thanksgiving” that refers to a large meal among friends eaten during
the Thanksgiving season.
The level of formality is dependent on the participants, but the word first appeared around 2007 as an informal replacement for the holiday typically spent with family.” In our quest for wholeness and not perpetuating the white, patriarchal agenda, we have embraced the tradition of Friendsgiving as an alternative. With social distancing still in place, here are a few great ways to show gratitude and celebrate with others.
- Zoom Party – If traveling or getting together is totally out of the
questions, cook a smaller version of your favorite meal and
schedule a zoom call. You could eat prior to the call or eat while
on it while sharing what you are grateful in the midst of this
- Intimate Gathering – Do something small with just immediate
family, maybe even skip traditional Thanksgiving food and do
something out of the ordinary for your family, explore other
cuisine that you may not have had before or go for something
simple like surf & turf or BBQ.
- Charitable Giving – Choose a charity or cause that you care about
and have family and friends all either contribute monetary gifts or
even a food drive to give to a local charity. This can be done in
conjunction with any type of celebration you choose.
While it can be difficult to sift through fact from fiction of what is
known about Thanksgiving, we do know that has been long thought to
be a peaceful harvest celebration between the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag people of North America around 1621, was far more complicated than that.
The celebration of the harvest was nothing new to Indigenous people and much of the history between the two races was riddled with violence and oppression. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday to celebrate the victory of Gettysburg. Prior to this, there are other documented celebrations of Thanksgiving for various political victories. The nation has chosen to use Thanksgiving as a celebration dependent upon
political agenda while Black & Indigenous people continue to suffer at
the hands of colonizers.
But I digress. Personally, our family has never focused on the untruths
that was taught in schools, but more of a time to spend with our loved
ones while also remembering to be grateful for what we have which has
not changed even now. If this is a time you choose to spend with your
family and friends, it is important to note that you are no less socially or
politically conscious for doing so, its important and arguably necessary
to take time out and show gratitude for what we currently have as well
as acknowledging the ancestors who trailblazed the way for us no
matter what time of year.
So, it just comes down to this, you celebrating Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving or Nah? And if so, who’s making the Mac & Cheese?