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          Thanksgiving is my favorite "American" holiday. It is a celebration of life, of the harvest, of the power of people coming together, of remembering. Although it wasn't a holiday until Lincoln made it one, the story it tells is powerful mythology. Early European settlers fleeing persecution in Europe, for their ideals, would have died out but for the help of local Native American communities. Thanksgiving Day commemorates their profound generosity, the neighborliness that resulted, and gratitude for life itself after a very hard year. These are values that the Transition Movement seeks to build on. What a different nation would have been created if the impulses of neighborliness, gratitude, and generosity had extended beyond people's own family or community, and actually formed the basis of the development of this country! 

           Below is a grace that I like to offer before I eat. It comes from several sources, including a Sufi and a Native American. I would love to hear other blessings for food that people say.

          O thou, sustainer of our bodies, hearts and souls, bless all that we receive in thankfulness.

           We offer gratitude to all those beings who brought this food to us - the soils, the winds, the waters, the sun, the plants, animals and people. May their days be long and well. And may all beings everywhere have good and nourishing food to eat.        blessed be

            Hope you are all outside enjoying the beautiful sunshine today, and are avoiding the black greed of "Black Friday"!

            Emily

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comment by Kate Clark on November 30, 2011 at 1:23pm

My favorite holiday, too!  I love this quote from Mark Twain- keeps it in perspective a bit:

 

Thanksgiving Day, a function which originated in New England two or three centuries ago when those people recognized that they really had something to be thankful for -- annually, not oftener -- if they had succeeded in exterminating their neighbors, the Indians, during the previous twelve months instead of getting exterminated by their neighbors, the Indians. Thanksgiving Day became a habit, for the reason that in the course of time, as the years drifted on, it was perceived that the exterminating had ceased to be mutual and was all on the white man's side, consequently on the Lord's side; hence it was proper to thank the Lord for it and extend the usual annual compliments.

- Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1 (University of California Press, 2010)

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