This weeks excerpts on Thanksgiving really showed the reasoning behind why we celebrate the holiday. To start, in the excerpt from Northwood, we see a wonderful feast that a family is having together. We also see the importance of food in this feast and in the connections between family members. One specific example of food and its roll in memory and connection, is the pleasure Mrs. Romilly derives from preparing everything and trying to remember the dishes she used to make for her son before he left for a while. It seems as if her ability to cook those foods is her way of showing her love for him. On the flip, the son Sydney is so busy just enjoying being with his family and living in the moment that he is not even hungry. It almost seems like instead of consuming the food in front of him, he wants to consume the love from his family.

Later in the letters to the president, we get to see the importance of why Thanksgiving became a National Holiday. During a time of Civil War it would mean a lot for a nation to declare one day for all people to sit down, eat, drink, and give thanks to God. Sarah Josepha Buell Hale’s letter describes the importance of “permanency and unity” in the holiday, when describing her reasoning for asking President Lincoln to declare it a national holiday. This is clearly relating to the conflict within the nation and the desire that people be united again. Once again, we see that the act of eating together has much more power than just satisfying the need for food. Could eating together and celebrating this day consistently help bring together a nation currently at War?

 

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