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Nesun Achema (Thank You)

It's a few days until Thanksgiving and I've got my menu set, shopping list checked off, cute little cards to write what we are thankful for on, and my family is all caught up on the standard "Fall activities" that typically fill up all of our Instagram and Facebook feeds. 

Live Oak Canyon Pumpkin Patch

A lot of people are surprised that my family celebrates Thanksgiving at all, and you know, there are some years where I am surprised too. It is a weird day that celebrates a dark time by sugar coating history and misrepresenting facts. You know, now that I think of it, maybe that is why there is so much brown sugar, maple, and pumpkin spice involved... to keep that sugar coating nice and thick making the whole story easier to swallow. I mean, why else would we be putting marshmallows in side dishes (which is totally delicious and I'm totally going to be doing it). 

I grew up celebrating Thanksgiving driving around with my parents to several houses and eating a little at each one. We never talked about history or pilgrims or why the day existed, it was just a day with a lot of food. Now, as a parent myself, I don't want my kids to feel excluded from a day that is built up at school, with friends, via media, at the Target Dollar Spot even! We do all the traditional family activities throughout the Fall and Winter, so I suppose that we will keep doing Thanksgiving too. 

I am not going to tell them some made up fairytale about it though, and I'm not going to support schools or cartoons telling them the fairytale either. It makes me incredibly sad and frustrated to see pictures of beautiful children, who's parents I know, dressed up as pilgrims and "Indians". If more and more states and cities are replacing Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day, and there has been a movement of truth and respect for Native history then we can and should change Thanksgiving too. 

We don't need what at best is a romanticized version of history to dedicate a day to celebrate gratitude, and people don't need to feel guilty about having a day of abundance with their friends and families (if they are lucky). This holiday is a good excuse, and lets face it sometimes we need an excuse, to sit around and be thankful and openly talk about how lucky we are. It is also a perfect time to relearn history and realize how hurtful and frustrating so many of the "traditional Thanksgiving" images are. Take time to learn the about the Indigenous people who I guarantee you existed, and are probably still nearby, where you currently live... and please, stop saying that "maize" is the Native American word for corn. There is no single Native American word for corn.

Talk about and celebrate the things that you are grateful for whether it be family, friends, job opportunities, love, kicking toxic people from your life, a good hair cut, whatever! My family and a few friends will gather around the table and enjoy a prime rib dinner (I'm not spending the day cooking a turkey when I don't even care for turkey) with all the traditional side dishes, well gluten free versions because when I cook at home I can control the ingredients and am able to safely eat everything on the table. Anyway, we will sit together enjoying the food, wine, and company, and I am already grateful that we are here. Our people survived, fought, and thrived so that I could be here at this time enjoying these moments, being blessed with my children's perfect little smiles. For that I am grateful. 

 All photo credit to Dustin Luna @

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