Thanksgiving is a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Thanksgiving is an especially meaningful celebration for the prepper, in that we realize the hard work (and some luck) that goes into producing a meaningful harvest.
Here is a short bit of its history, and my thoughts on this Thanksgiving Holiday…
Thanksgiving History and Roots
Thanksgiving has its historical roots in religious and cultural traditions, and in the United States is traced to 1621 at Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts from a celebration feast and thanksgiving prompted by the Pilgrims with the Wampanoag (Native American tribe) for a good harvest.
The practice of holding an annual harvest festival became a regular affair in New England in the late 1660s.
As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nation-wide thanksgiving celebration in America in 1789, “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God.”
The final Thursday in November became the customary date of Thanksgiving beginning in 1863 by a presidential proclamation of Abraham Lincoln.
First Thanksgiving Menu
The First Thanksgiving in 1621 contained turkey, waterfowl, venison, fish, lobster, clams, berries, fruit, pumpkin, and squash. Many of the foods that were included in that feast (except, notably, the seafood) have since gone on to become staples of the modern Thanksgiving dinner.
The Meaning Of Thanksgiving
Now that we know a little history of Thanksgiving, what do we take away from it during our modern times of plenty? What’s the meaning today? Who cares?
Unfortunately for many, the true meaning of Thanksgiving has become diluted. Most Americans alive today have never experienced the hardships similar to the early Pilgrims while learning to grow successful crops and trying to feed themselves by any means. Their lives consisted of pure survival. When things finally worked out and they had successful harvests, they were humbled, and were truly thankful for what they had produced.
Today, people simply expect food. Why wouldn’t they… it’s always available at the grocery store. There’s not a second thought about being ‘thankful’ for it being there. Not any more… not since we’ve not had to produce our own…
So my lesson to myself, as a prepper,
I am thankful for the food that I am able to grow for myself, and I am thankful that our systems of agriculture and distribution are providing me with the ability to buy the food that I cannot produce for myself… and even if I ever get to the day where I am entirely producing my own food (especially then), I will be thankful for whatever I am able to harvest.
If the $hit ever hits the fan, I have a strong feeling that many more people will get in touch with being thankful for what they have.
Don’t take it for granted what we have today. It has been a historic time of plenty.
Somehow though, I have this nagging feeling that our times of plenty are about to collapse. Use this Thanksgiving holiday as motivation to double-down your efforts for prepping and learning to produce your own food. It took the early Pilgrims many years to figure it out. It’s not easy. It’s more than just growing a few tomato plants…
If you’re a prepper or concerned about such things, one of the best things that you can do is to start figuring it out now… before it’s too late.