One day I was browsing in our local library and learned something about the first Thanksgiving that I did not know. As I read it, I was struck by revelation.
Although Thanksgiving appears to be a uniquely American holiday, the mood now all over the world feels hectic, festive, familyish, planning ahead to the end of the year – and it sometimes can feel dark. Very few holidays are not based in some way on seasonal or pagan rituals – whether they are secular, as is Thanksgiving, or religious. In northern climates (in days long ago), this might be the last time you could see families and friends till spring. In agricultural civilizations, it’s the celebration of the end of harvest. It’s okay to feast now; by February there may be very little left. Nowadays we don’t have that worry; instead the anxiety has crept inwards, and emerges as family-related issues: passionate reunions, guilt, or nostalgia. This time of year can be fraught with tension, excitement, friendliness, food, warmth, light, depression, and so on. […]