Like many holidays, we often overlook the origins of why we celebrate Thanksgiving. My 7 year old is in 2nd grade and brought home a book about the first Thanksgiving that really got me to realize that it was possibly the greatest home move ever made.
The group of people we often refer to as Pilgrims weren’t too different from modern day families when it comes time to make a move. The Pilgrims didn’t move because of rising house values or to find a better investment, they moved to make a better life for themselves and their families. In fact they moved twice! First from England to Amsterdam, then finally across the Atlantic Ocean to America.
The Pilgrims departed in August of 1620 to find their new home. If you think your last move was a painfully long process, think about moving on a ship with 120 other people for about 4 months. While this may be the greatest home move, it was also one of the most painful as we know of the sickness, death and struggles they encountered to reach their new home. The worst part was when the finally go to their new place, it was the worst possible time of year to move in…winter. But even so, the Pilgrims banded together to weather the cold, harsh conditions because for better or worse this was the place they now called home.
After the winter passed, spring, summer and bountiful harvest arrived which brings us to what we refer to as the first Thanksgiving in autumn of 1621. Of the 120 passengers that embarked on the voyage, some historians say that only 52 remained to enjoy that harvest celebration. The reason for rejoicing was that they knew they had survived the worst and wanted to give thanks for their new home and the realization that this next year would be better than the last.
For anyone that’s moved into a home that’s less than perfect I think you can relate to the move the Pilgrim’s made although on a much smaller scale. My wife and I bought our house several years ago. It was far from perfect. We had to undo the horrendous decor, redo the former owner’s wanna-be handyman projects and gut a lot of the rooms. We spent money we didn’t want to, worked harder than we thought we’d have to, but in the end it was still our home. It’s hardly the hurdles that the Pilgrims of Plymouth had to face, but I can see why they made such a difficult trip and survived so many hardships for the ability to make a new home.
So this Thanksgiving as you sit at the dinner table of whatever home you find yourself in, give thanks for the home that you’ve made, for those that allow you to have the freedom to enjoy it, and for what the future holds for you and your home.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia.