The American Thanksgiving tradition is a great one! This will be my second year living in The Netherlands during the Thanksgiving holiday. Last year we joined some Dutch friends (with American roots) for the traditional dinner. This year as owner of La Buena Vida in The Hague, we have a Koop Avond (or Selling Evening) this Thursday from 6pm until 9pm, and will be serving a spiced mulled wine (called glu wijn in Holland), and some appetizers. If you are in the neighborhood please join us for a cup of warm wine and a bite to eat, knowing the Thanksgiving spirit is alive and well in La Buena Vida!
Whether your family celebrates with a family football game (ala the Kennedy clan), or the traditional gathering together to share a roast turkey dinner, or even volunteering as I did once to feed the homeless from a popular Long Beach restaurant, it is a tradition of giving thanks for what we have. This holiday comes at a time in our history, where many are unemployed, homeless, hungry, sick or just thinking about what we don’t have anymore…it is a wonderful opportunity for us all to remember the history of this holiday and revisit the things for which we have to be thankful.
According to The Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth
In early autumn of 1621, the 53 surviving Pilgrims celebrated their successful harvest, as was the English custom. During this time, “many of the Indians coming… amongst the rest their great king Massasoit, with some
ninety men. That 1621 celebration is remembered as the “First Thanksgiving in Plymouth.”our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together, after we had gathered the fruits of our labors; they four in one day killed as much fowl, as with a little help beside, served the Company almost a week, at which time amongst other Recreations, we exercised our Arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and amongst the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five Deer, which they brought to the Plantation and bestowed on our Governor, and upon the Captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.
I admit I do miss our family spending the day preparing a gigantic feast together in California, and then sitting down to enjoy it over a three hour span. Then we would take a walk to try and work off the “food coma” which would inevitably follow in the early evening. I will miss my American family this week, but offer thanks for the following:
I rejoice in the knowledge that my loved ones are healthy, well-fed, enjoying their freedom to act, say and believe in what they choose. I am thankful that my family members who have passed on, are no longer suffering, but joining us in spirit during this week of thanks. But most of all I am thankful for the love I receive all year long from both my American and Dutch family and friends.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, and know that we are all together in spirit on Thursday, 25 November. I love you all, no matter where you will be celebrating!