Francisco Chronicle and Reader's Digest suggested them. To each his
According to http://www.howstuffworks.com, Thanksgiving's only
essential tradition is sharing a meal (it doesn't say what kind) with
family and friends while giving thanks for what we have.
I suspect today there are people all over the country putting that
notion to test -- insisting that the gravy have giblets and the
turkey be carved exactly as it always has been.
As holidays go, according to the website, Thanksgiving is as
simple as one gets, not "tied to any specific religion, and you can
pretty much celebrate it however you want."
For a lot of families I know and have known, "however you want" is
more like "however you can." Kind of like the families in the 2000
Thanksgiving classic, "What's Cooking?"
The movie looks in on four families as each awkwardly gathers
around its cuisine spiced with familial problems. Isabel Avila's son
invites her husband, with whom she is on rather bad terms, to dinner.
In the Nguyen household, the parents chafe against their children's
assimilation. The Williams, husband and wife, try to conceal their
domestic turbulence from a visiting in-law. The Seeligs, they are
stubbornly trying not to acknowledge the fact their adult daughter is
living with her lover.
If you haven't seen the movie, I won't spoil it for you by telling
you how it all ends. As for Thanksgiving not being tied to any
specific religion, it hasn't always been seen that way.
One of the enduring memories of my grammar school years is of my
entire class, sometime in the very early '60s, reenacting, complete
with Pilgrim and Indian costumes and real food, what I was taught was
our nation's first Thanksgiving.
The Indians among us wore braids and felt moccasins; they weren't
allowed to be barefoot at school. The Pilgrims wore black with white
collars and cuffs with silver cardboard buckles on their shoes. The
men also sported buckles on their belts and their black, wide-brimmed
hats. Women tucked their hair under white cotton bonnets.
Our mothers had baked bread to go with bowls of "maize" and winter
squash. Someone's father gifted us with a hearty lot of venison.